COPAXONE Ressources

Application Information

This drug has been submitted to the FDA under the reference 020622/002.

Names and composition

"COPAXONE" is the commercial name of a drug composed of GLATIRAMER ACETATE.

Answered questions

What does copaxone do generally to multiple sclerosis?
It briefly mentioned copaxone in my revision guide, just was curious about it. Asked by Lorie Klapp 7 months ago.

Copaxone is given by daily subcutaneous injection to treat relapsing-remitting MS and is a disease-modifying therapy. Of the four meds used to treat RRMS, Copaxone is the only one that's not interferon-based and so doesn't have the same side effects. It reduces relapses. Glatiramer acetate is the generic name for Copaxone. It contains 4 amino acids that are found in myelin. Unfortunately the exact mechanism of Copaxone is not known but one line of thought is that the amino acids in the drug modify the immune process responsible for the pathogenesis of the disease. The disease causes the immune system to attack the proteins in myelin and the drug may divert this action. This would reduce the number of relapses in RRMS. Answered by Ivana Schopp 7 months ago.

Hasn't helped Answered by Laine Schwichtenber 7 months ago.

Dents in skin from Copaxone (Multiple Sclerosis drug)?
This question is for those on the MS drug Copaxone :)I've noticed small dents in my legs and stomach, which don't bother me but I recently got a huge one in my arm.I don't care about the cosmetic part, but are these dents dangerous to my health?Also, the places I take my shot are pretty much... Asked by Alecia Peiffer 7 months ago.

This question is for those on the MS drug Copaxone :) I've noticed small dents in my legs and stomach, which don't bother me but I recently got a huge one in my arm. I don't care about the cosmetic part, but are these dents dangerous to my health? Also, the places I take my shot are pretty much hard/rough now, is this ok? Again I could careless about cosmetics, I just want to make sure none of this is dangerous to my health. The copaxone has kept me flare up free for four years now and I don't want to get it off it.. Any input is highly appreciated. Answered by Kacey Kiefel 7 months ago.

I took Copaxone for eight years, am only off right now for pregnancy. I have never had the dents you are referring to but my friend, who also is on Copaxone for over eight years, did get one in her thigh area. She'll tell you this dent is because she gave her shot in the same place all the time for a while, instead of rotating like she is supposed to. You will need to have a physician look at these dents. If you are still injecting into these areas you may need to stop using them. The potential exists with Copaxone use of these reaction areas in the skin further developing into serious skin lesions. The dents are less common but do happen. As for the hard areas, is it permanent? If not it could be a site reaction -- I get a hard bump for three days afterward. Just have these areas looked at and get advice from a professional to avoid any serious complications. I get red bumps from the injections and I also don't care about the cosmetics or the way they look -- I'll keep doing it because I really believe in this drug. I checked with my doctor to make sure my injection site reactions were not going to be a problem. I completely agree with you on the benefits of Copaxone. It kept me relapse free for four years and I can't wait to get back on it after the baby is born. I feel like I am missing my lifeline. (I am enjoying the break from the shots but I really do miss it!) Good Luck! Answered by Gillian Guillemette 7 months ago.

My husband is on this drug. He hasn't ever had any dents. I would suggest rotating your injection spots more. If it's a right leg day then shift up or down a bit on your leg so that you're not injecting right into the same spot week after week. I would think that you're just growing callouses up in the area you inject into. There is information that injecting Copaxone into the same spots over and over causes a small loss of muscle mass in that area, it's not dangerous but that can be what is causing the dents. I'm glad to hear you've been symptom free for 4 years. My husband and his brother BOTH have MS and both take Copaxone and it has kept them both symptom free. Answered by Liane Younglas 7 months ago.

Multiple sclerosis is one of the most debilitating and discouraging conditions anyone can have. Waking up day after day knowing you are stricken with MS that gradually drags you, healthy young person, toward chronic illness and maybe shorter life. Suddenly you no longer expect to enjoy many of life's greatest experiences. The inside story on Dr. Gary remarkable Multiple Sclerosis cure Read on to discover what really causes your multiple sclerosis! Answered by Laronda Michno 7 months ago.

Ive had the dents before and the hardness. It is from not rotating. the cells dotn get any rest and kind of die. I stopped using my arms all together because it hurt the most anyway! for the hardness, try massaging the area and not using it for a while. Right after you do the shot try using some chilled aloe vera gel, it works wonders on me! Good luck Answered by Broderick Krill 7 months ago.

Does copaxone help with fatigue and pain? I have never taken anything for MS and am going to try this drug.?
Asked by Dallas Kacic 7 months ago.

Hi Lisa! No, Copaxone will not help with the fatigue and pain. In fact, although it does not say it on the drug fact sheet, Copaxone can make you feel even more fatigued. I took Copaxone for the first three years after diagnosis and I felt more exhausted on it than off it and so it is with many of my MS friends. Copaxone actually cuts down on flare-ups and slows down the progression of the disease 50% of the time according to the trials funded by Teva Pharmaceutical which manufactures the drug. This is according to their efficacy study filed with the FDA which they just hate releasing to the general public.. However, further studies indicate that the actual rate of efficacy is only about 30%. If you need relief from the exhaustion and the pain, ask your neurologist to prescribe something. I take Low Dose Naltrxone for my fatigue and it works. Some of my friends take Neurontin for pain. My pains are always very fleeting so I do not take anything. I wish you well. Take the very best of care. And I sincerely hope that the Copaxone is able to stop the progression of your disease. I have had MS myself for 20 years. I found that going to MS meetings sponsered by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and talking with my MS peers has been the biggest help. I also joined an MS group right here on Yahoo. that way when I have a question, I have lots of peoplewith MS to get input from. Answered by Sharita Lauture 7 months ago.

No. Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), like other immunomodulatory medications for MS, is not a treatment for fatigue, pain, or for any other symptoms you may already have. Immunomodulatory treatment for MS has several benefits: 1. Reduced frequency of attacks 2. Reduced accumulation of new demyelinated areas ("lesions") on MRI scan 3. Less accumulation of disability in the short term (18-24 months) as compared to controls It is important to have a realistic understanding of what this drug is intended to and capable of doing. It will not make you feel better, but this does not mean that it isn't helpful. Answered by Hugh Trogstad 7 months ago.

Reactions to Copaxone?
I'm 23 years old and I was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis this past February, and was started on Lyrica, Baclofen and a daily injection of Copaxone. I didn't have a problem with doing the injections everyday, since it meant that I don't have to be on an anti-depressant (I've... Asked by Shalon Lava 7 months ago.

I'm 23 years old and I was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis this past February, and was started on Lyrica, Baclofen and a daily injection of Copaxone. I didn't have a problem with doing the injections everyday, since it meant that I don't have to be on an anti-depressant (I've been on them in the past and I don't want to go back on them if I can help it) However, lately I've been having localized reactions to my injections. I started the daily injection about 2.5 months ago, and within the last 2 weeks, I started to have hives pop up nearly every time. They hurt, itch and the area becomes very red. Only in the last day or 2 I have started to have a cough accompany this and it's starting to interfere with my daily life. I have been doing my injections properly every time, just as I was taught by my nurse, and I take benadryl and ice the area and the hives go away within 24 hours. Has anyone else had this reaction to Copaxone? If so, did the reactions eventually stop or did you have to switch medications? And if you had to switch, which medications did you switch to and how did you react? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Answered by Alison Arzate 7 months ago.

Copaxone Dosage Question?
Is it safe to give myself two Copaxone Injections a day? The current dosage (One a day) isn't working well anymore. Asked by Hollie Bitter 7 months ago.

No it is not safe to exceed the standard dose. If you exceed the dose and there are adverse effects you will be responsible for them. I have attached the manufacturer's information below: COPAXONE is the brand name for glatiramer acetate (formerly known as copolymer-1). Glatiramer acetate, the active ingredient of COPAXONE, consists of the acetate salts of synthetic polypeptides, containing four naturally occurring amino acids: L-glutamic acid, L-alanine, L-tyrosine, and L-lysine with an average molar fraction of 0.141, 0.427, 0.095, and 0.338, respectively. The average molecular weight of glatiramer acetate is 5,000 – 9,000 daltons. Glatiramer acetate is identified by specific antibodies. Chemically, glatiramer acetate is designated L-glutamic acid polymer with L-alanine, L-lysine and L-tyrosine, acetate (salt). COPAXONE is a clear, colorless to slightly yellow, sterile, nonpyrogenic solution for subcutaneous injection. Each 1 mL of solution contains 20 mg of glatiramer acetate and 40 mg of mannitol. The pH range of the solution is approximately 5.5 to 7.0. The biological activity of COPAXONE is determined by its ability to block the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice. I hope you make the right choices. Answered by Reid Stika 7 months ago.

Copaxone Dosage Answered by Valene Jarret 7 months ago.

two times nothing is still nothing their are other medicines Answered by Sang Wielgus 7 months ago.

Copaxone and Marijuana usage?
I suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and take the medicine Copaxone. I was wondering since I smoke marijuana and use copaxone will any harm be done (besides the obvious from weed)? Asked by Virginia Villarruel 7 months ago.

Sadly, no one is going to be able to tell you what the drug interactions could be between Copaxone (which I take also) and marijuana (don't need it yet, but keeping it in my back pocket) because it's never been tested. Marijuana's benefit to MS patients has never been "officially" tested, either. Personally, I think they'd find that it does have medical benefit, and it would start knocking the drug companies' profits down a notch, so they won't allow any testing. All that aside, I know of people who take MS drugs and also use marijuana in some form or another (some smoke, others ingest with food), and they're just fine (you know Montel Williams, the talk show host? He's one of them. I'm not sure which one of the CRAB drugs he's taking, but he does take one of them, along with the liquid form of marijuana). If you think about the primary routes of the drugs, they operate on different functional systems of the body. While Copaxone is more related to immune system function, marijuana works directly on neuroreceptors in nerve cells. Personally, I think you'll be OK, but you need to decide for yourself. There's no medical proof one way or the other about that combination of drugs. Answered by Tanesha Borrolli 7 months ago.

Where is the best place to inject copaxone?
Asked by Alta Hermans 7 months ago.

Copaxone is given subcutaneously , and I prefer it been given on the thigh . But the site can be changed eg. thigh ,upperarm,abdomen etc But it is best given at a site where the skin is not too thick or too thin. Answered by Hans Gidaro 7 months ago.

My personal preference is the stomach for an injection of this type. Answered by Lester Llorens 7 months ago.

my mom rotates them around her body. so like, one day her thigh/hip one day her upper arm. i think it helps avoid repeating irritation from the shot? try calling your doctor tomorrow and asking their best suggestion, that would be best. :) Answered by Les Malbrough 7 months ago.

Any info of someone using Copaxone and Lipitor for MS???
Asked by Demetra Brussell 7 months ago.

No personal experience here and I don't think it's been tried in humans yet but here are a couple of links/information. Good Luck. A Statin Improves Performance of Multiple Sclerosis Drug By Ed Edelson HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- The same researchers who showed that a cholesterol-lowering statin drug might prevent development of full-blown multiple sclerosis are now reporting that statin therapy might improve the performance of existing MS drugs. The first discovery led to a nationwide study in which people who have the initial symptoms of the autoimmune nerve-damaging disease are taking a statin in hopes of avoiding MS. "What we have shown now is that we have data in an animal model, that when this statin is used in combination with Copaxone, it may augment the activity of Copaxone," said study co-author Dr. Scott Zamvil, associate professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. "That is provocative data supporting human testing of this combination." While the research has so far been limited to lab mice, the scientists hope the findings might one day lead to improved treatments for people with the disease. The findings appear in the March 16 online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Combination therapy is desirable because Copaxone, like other MS drugs, is effective in only 30 percent to 35 percent of cases of the most common form of the disease, Zamvil said. In one animal study, adding high doses of atorvastatin (Lipitor) dramatically reduced central nervous system inflammation and seemed to eliminate the paralysis caused by a model disease that closely resembles MS. In contrast, there was no reversal of the disease in animals that received low doses of Lipitor or Copaxone. In multiple sclerosis, immune cells attack a layer of insulation known as myelin that surrounds nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Copaxone is one of a family of drugs that suppresses the activity of the chemicals that destroy myelin. Lipitor also appears to act against the destructive immune system activity, but through a different mechanism, Zamvil said. "They can have an additive effect," he said, referring to the combination of Lipitor and Copaxone. "We were able to see a clinical and immunological benefit." The reults do not necessarily apply to all statin drugs, he said. "They all act on the same enzyme to reduce cholesterol but they differ in their ability to cause immune modulation," Zamvil said. Data from unpublished studies indicate that Lipitor has more immune system activity, he said. Zamvil said he's aware that some people with MS are already taking a statin, but he advised against it at this point to combat the disease. "We don't know if it is effective or not at this stage," he said. "Even though they [statins] are relatively safe, we are speaking of higher doses." That caution was echoed by Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic, one of 14 U.S. centers involved in a trial of statin therapy to prevent MS in people who have had a first neurological event that often leads to the disease. The trial has been going on for a year, and five people have been enrolled at the Cleveland Clinic, he said, adding that results of the trial might start to emerge in a year or two. "There is a lot of interest in statins and they are generally well tolerated, but we are cautioning people not to rely on statins for multiple sclerosis treatment," Cohen said. "The doses are on the high side, so there is some potential for side effects and toxicity." Inevitably, some people treated for MS at the Cleveland Clinic are taking a statin because they have high cholesterol, Cohen said. "It doesn't appear to have an adverse effect on MS, and at this point it is hard to determine whether it is helpful for MS," he said. More information For more information, visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society ( ). SOURCES: Scott Zamvil, M.D., Ph.D, associate professor of neurology, University of California, San Francisco; Jeffrey Cohen, M.D., neurologist, Cleveland Clinic; March 16, 2006, online edition, Journal of Clinical Investigation Copyright © 2006 ScoutNews LLC. All rights reserved. Lipitor-Copaxone Combo May Fight MS Study With Mice Shows Statin and MS Drug May Prevent Paralysis From Multiple Sclerosis By Daniel DeNoon WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD on Thursday, March 16, 2006 More From WebMD The Importance of Early MS Treatment Coping With Your MS at Work Fighting Your MS Flare-Ups March 16, 2006 - A combination of two currently approved drugs prevents and even reverses paralysis in mice with multiple sclerosis. One of the drugs is the MS drug Copaxone. It's now approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS. The second drug is Lipitor, one of the group of so-called statin drugs. Lipitor and its sister drugs lower cholesterol levels. However, the anti-MS activity of Lipitor appears to be separate from its cholesterol-lowering action. A team led by University of California, San Francisco researcher Scott S. Zamvil, MD, PhD, in 2002 reported that Lipitor has anti-MS actionLipitor has anti-MS action in mice. An NIH-sponsored clinical trial is now enrolling people with first-episode MS to see if Lipitor can prevent more serious disease. Powerful Combo Now Zamvil's team reports that low doses of Lipitor and Copaxone -- doses too low to have any effect by themselves -- pack a powerful anti-MS punch. The combination prevents paralysis in mice with an induced MS-like disease. Perhaps even more impressive, the combination treatment reverses paralysis in these mice. "We have two drugs that are relatively safe in people. At the preclinical level we have shown they have a marked effect on MS," Zamvil tells WebMD. "We hope that by testing this in clinical trials there may be an added benefit of these two drugs when given in combination." Study With Mice Shows Statin and MS Drug May Prevent Paralysis From Multiple Sclerosis (continued) 1 | 2 | 3 More From WebMD The Importance of Early MS Treatment Coping With Your MS at Work Fighting Your MS Flare-Ups Don't Try Drug Combo Yet Zamvil warns patients not to try this combination at home. "Caution is advised. Remember these results, though provocative, are based on animal studies," he says. "Statins, even though widely used, can be associated with liver and muscle damage. The general doses for treating cholesterol are the lower doses -- and here we are testing the highest FDA-approved doses. So MS patients on Copaxone should not go out and grab their statins." MS expert Jerry S. Wolinsky, MD, professor of neurology at the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, echoes Zamvil's warning. Wolinsky notes that an earlier trial of combination therapy for MS -- Tysabri and beta interferon -- seems to have resulted in a rare but deadly side effect. The deaths led to the removal of Tysabri from the market (although an FDA advisory panel recommends bringing back the drug with strict limits on its use). "You cannot say just because it works in the mouse, it works in people," Wolinsky tells WebMD. "A lot of folks out there are on Copaxone. And they know about the statins. And they ask me, 'Gee, doc -- should I be on a statin?' I say, 'Only if your cholesterol is up. And only at the dose needed to get your cholesterol down. But I am not going to put you on a statin -- particularly at the doses that might work on MS -- given the known side effects in people at these doses.'" Lipitor-Copaxone Combo May Fight MS Study With Mice Shows Statin and MS Drug May Prevent Paralysis From Multiple Sclerosis (continued) 1 | 2 | 3 More From WebMD The Importance of Early MS Treatment Coping With Your MS at Work Fighting Your MS Flare-Ups Paralysis Reversed in Mice MS is a disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath coating nerve fibers. Myelin is important in the sending of nerve signals. There are several forms of MS: Relapsing-Remitting MS. About 85% of people with MS start with this condition. It's a vicious cycle of disease relapses and remissions. Disability gradually increases. Secondary-progressive MS. Untreated, about half of people with relapsing-remitting MS would go on to this condition, which is worsening of symptoms between relapses. Primary-progressive MS. Some 10% of people with MS have steadily accumulating disability from disease onset. Progressive-relapsing MS is a rare form of MS, with acute attacks and steadily increasing disability. Treatments aim to disarm or deflect the improper immune responses that underlie MS. These treatments include beta interferon (Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif), Copaxone, and the anticancer drug Novantrone. As noted above, Tysabri is currently unavailable but may soon return to the U.S. market. Copaxone seems to pull the teeth from the immune cells that target MS. Lipitor and other statins, in an action separate from their anticholesterol effect, also affect the immune system. Zamvil's team studied Copaxone and Lipitor in the mouse model of MS. These mice were given shots that gave them an MS-like disease. The researchers found that low doses of Copaxone or Lipitor alone had no effect on disease in these mice. But a low-dose combination of the two drugs prevented MS. And in mice already paralyzed, the Lipitor/Copaxone combination reverses paralysis. "Does this mean, wow, if we give these two drugs we will have a great effect?" Zamvil says. "We are hoping the two drugs together will have added benefit. But until we do the clinical trial in people, we won't know how much benefit and risk there will be." "This combination is obviously a very good way to think about going," Wolinsky says. "But you really have to do the clinical studies." --------------------------------------... SOURCES: Stüve, O. Journal of Clinical Investigation, March 16, 2006 online edition. Scott S. Zamvil, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and immunology, University of California, San Francisco. Jerry S. Wolinsky, MD, professor of neurology, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center. Answered by Vanessa Cobio 7 months ago.

Copaxone or Rebif as a treatment for MS?
PS - I am hoping CJ will give some input as I think he is on Copaxone. Asked by Nicol Diano 7 months ago.

I am meeting with my doctor on Friday to tell him which medicine I have decided to take. I have read the kits and chose Copaxone due to minimal side effects. I have three small children and do not have time to be sick. My questions are....Do you now or have you taken either of these medications? Were the side effects tolerable? Why did you choose your medication you are on? Thanks in advance, this is a hard decision and all information is appreciated. Answered by Kaycee Vinyard 7 months ago.

Hi, yes, I have taken Copaxone, Avonex, and Betaseron. I was first diagnosed with RRMS on 10/19/01. I am not currently on any medication for the MS with the exception of some OMEGA3 and Flaxseed Oil. I would like to believe that Copaxone works. I happen to be allergic to it, lucky me. It appeared to be the best choice, it was very easy to do the self-injections and it didn't make you feel totally run-down. Just be careful to make sure you dispose of everything in the biohazard container they send to you because it's not safe for children of any age to be around. Thie injector actually hides the needle so you just press the button and it goes in real quick. I wish you and your family the best. I wish I really knew you, I don't know anyone with MS besides me and it sucks! I also have kids and don't have time to be sick! Answered by Hae Gerrero 7 months ago.


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