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Glatiramer: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking glatiramer if you:
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Glatiramer to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)

How Does Glatiramer Work?

At this time, it is not fully understood how glatiramer works to treat multiple sclerosis. Although the exact causes of MS are not known, it is often considered to be an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the protective coating around nerve fibers. It is thought that glatiramer may work by limiting this immune system response, decreasing the damage to the nerves.
Because the drug is a delicate molecule, it would be broken down and destroyed by the digestive system if taken by mouth. For this reason, glatiramer must be injected to bypass the digestive tract.

Effects of Glatiramer

Several studies have evaluated glatiramer as an MS treatment. In one study, people who took the drug had fewer MS exacerbations, compared to people taking a placebo injection with no active ingredient. MRI brain scans showed that people had significantly fewer lesions after two years of taking glatiramer, compared with those who took the placebo.
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