glatiramer (injection) (cont.)
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using glatiramer (Copaxone)?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to glatiramer or to mannitol.
Before using glatiramer, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have any other illness or if you take any other medicines. You may not be able to use glatiramer, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether glatiramer passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use glatiramer (Copaxone)?
Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the instructions on your prescription label.
Glatiramer is given as an injection under the skin of your thigh, hip, upper arm, or stomach. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be shown how to inject your medicine at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Wash and dry your hands before preparing the syringe and giving the injection.
Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
The powder form of glatiramer must be mixed in a syringe with the liquid (diluent) that comes with the medicine. Gently swirl this mixture and let it stand at room temperature until the powder is completely dissolved. Then use the injection right away. Do not save it for later use.
Use a different place on your body each time you give yourself an injection. Your doctor will show you the places on your body where you can safely inject the medication. Do not inject glatiramer into the same place two times within 1 week.
Do not stop using glatiramer without first talking with your doctor.
Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Glatiramer vials and prefilled syringes are for a single use only. Throw away the vial or syringe after each injection.
Store the prefilled syringes and vials (bottles) of glatiramer in the refrigerator. Do not allow the medicine to freeze.
Before using the prefilled syringe, take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm at room temperature for 20 minutes. Do not warm the medication in a microwave or hot water. Do not remove air bubbles from the prefilled syringe or you may accidentally remove a small amount of the medicine.
You may also store glatiramer at room temperature, away from moisture, light, and high heat. Glatiramer will keep for up to 30 days if stored at room temperature. Throw away any unused glatiramer that has been at room temperature for longer than 30 days.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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