Multiple Sclerosis, Copaxone, and the Interferon Drugs
Copaxone is an artificially made protein that resembles a protein that is part of the myelin that surrounds nerves. It is not known exactly how the drug works, but it appears to alter the activity of the immune system.
Copaxone is FDA approved for treatment of relapsing-remitting forms of MS. It is injected subcutaneously (under the skin) three times per week.
Like the interferon beta drugs, Copaxone has been shown to reduce the frequency of relapses.
The side effects of Copaxone include:
- Pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site. Injection sites should be rotated according to a schedule provided by your health care provider.
- Chest pain or tightness, heart palpitations, anxiety, flushing, and difficulty breathing.
- Do not use this drug if you are pregnant. If you are planning to become pregnant, it's recommended that you discuss changes in your medication regimen prior to pregnancy.
- Discuss the safety of taking this drug while breastfeeding with your health care provider.