Copaxone is another name for glatiramer acetate Multiple Sclerosis which is given in a daily injection under the skin. It has been found to be one of the most effective meds available to help extend the time between relapses in those who have relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet designated the drug as a treatment to prevent the progression of MS.

Glatiramer acetate MS was first approved by the FDA in 1996 and since that time has shown to not only prevent relapses, but also to have reduced the number of lesions shown on the MRI’s of the patients taking it. It has also become a first-line treatment for those that have experienced a Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) or the first appearance of neurological symptoms that may indicate the possibility of MS developing.

In February 2010, a 15-year clinical study was published showing that patients that had been treated with glatiramer acetate multiple sclerosis had had some outstanding and lasting effects. It was shown that 80% of patients diagnosed with MS, on average a 22 year period, were still able to walk on their own. 66% had not had any further neurological damage that would cause them to be diagnosed with secondary progressive MS. It seems the effectiveness of glatiramer acetate MS seems to drop-off significantly in secondary and primary progressive MS, providing little further benefits.


Glatiramer Acetate MS Is Most Effective In Early Stages, But Not Without Some Concerns


There are advantages in using glatiramer acetate Multiple Sclerosis. One is that it is injected under the skin, so IV’s are not required to administer the dosages. Another is it does not give patients flu-like symptoms that the other interferon medicines seem to commonly produce.

It is important to understand that using glatiramer acetate MS over a long period of time may impede the immune system so the risk from contracting any other diseases or illnesses may become a serious concern. Otherwise, the side effects from the drug seem limited to rather temporary situations.

These might include some swelling, pain, or redness where it is injected. Others have reported a ‘flushing’ sensation, anxiety, or their throats seem to tighten. Of somewhat more concern are symptoms similar to experiencing a heart attack: shortness of breath, more rapid heartbeat and chest pains. All of these will usually subside on their own soon after the injection. Any of these may be experienced when using the drug, but are almost always very brief in their duration.

In the early stages, or even a pre-diagnosis of MS, it is apparent that glatiramer acetate multiple sclerosis may be a very effective first response. Of course, all symptoms and treatments should be fully discussed with the primary-care physician as the benefits and possible risks will need to be fully explored.