Class: Immunomodulators

Name: Several formulations and dosages of glatiramer acetate (Copaxone®, Glatopa®, and Mylan®) and generics

General Dosage: All injected under the skin by the patient and differ by dose and frequency of injection. Most common formulation is 40mg 3x per week; some are 20mg daily.

Mechanism of Action: Works by inducing a regulatory B cell specific for MS.

Effectiveness: Compared to placebo, decreases relapses by 30% and decreases brain atrophy by 20%. No evidence for slowing disease progression.

Possible Side Effects: Post-injection reaction (16%), transient chest pain (13%), lipoatrophy (localized loss of fat tissue), skin necrosis, injection-site reactions.

Glatiramer acetate is an immunomodulator medication used to treat multiple sclerosis. Glatiramer acetate was approved in the United States in 1996 to reduce the frequency of relapses, but not for reducing the progression of disability.

Observational studies, but not randomized controlled trials, suggest that it may reduce progression of disability. While a conclusive diagnosis of multiple sclerosis requires a history of two or more episodes of symptoms and signs, glatiramer acetate is approved to treat a first episode anticipating a diagnosis (clinically isolated syndrome). 


This video was recorded in 2015. Dr. Augusto Miravalle worked at the Rocky Mountain MS Center from 2009 to 2017.