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Glatiramer or Copolymer-1 (Copaxone) Drug for Multiple Sclerosis: Use, Side Effects, Interactions




Glatiramer or copolymer-1
(Copaxone, United States)

More drugs used for Multiple Sclerosis.

Use:

Glatiramer or copolymer-1 (cop-1) is used in multiple sclerosis.

How It Works:

Glatiramer is a polypeptide mixture that resembles a component of myelin. In multiple sclerosis it is the myelin covering of nerves that is affected. Glatiramer seems to block the autoimmune reaction against myelin that leads to the nerve damage of multiple sclerosis.
Given as a subcutaneous injection, glatiramer seems to reduce the frequency of relapse, but does not seem to slow the progression of the disease.

Side Effects:

Local injection site side effects are common - local irritation, redness, inflammation, itching.

Cautions for People:

People with multiple sclerosis should realize that glatiramer may have no effect on the course of their disease. It seems to work best for people who are less disabled - and for them the improvement may only be marginal.

Drug Interactions:

Many other drugs are used in multiple sclerosis, and no interactions with glatiramer have been reported.

Further Reading:

Neurology 1995;45:1245
Ann Pharmacother 1996;30:1272
Am Fam Physician 1996;54:1301

Added to Virtual Drugstore April 1997.

The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.













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