Nervous System Home > Glatiramer

Glatiramer is a prescription medication used for treating multiple sclerosis. It is believed to work by decreasing nerve damage caused by the autoimmune disease. Glatiramer is a delicate molecule that would be destroyed by the digestive system if taken by mouth. Therefore, the drug must be injected just under the skin once daily. Potential side effects include joint pain, weakness, and hot flashes.

What Is Glatiramer?

Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of certain types of multiple sclerosis (MS). Like many other MS medications, it must be taken by injection. Glatiramer is injected just under the skin (subcutaneously) once a day.
 
(Click What Is Glatiramer Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Glatiramer Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with glatiramer. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
 
Common side effects of glatiramer include but are not limited to:
 
  • Skin reaction at the injection site (such as redness, pain, or burning)
  • Weakness
  • Flushing or hot flashes
  • Joint pain.
     
(Click Side Effects of Glatiramer to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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