Glatiramer acetate helps reduce the number of multiple sclerosis relapses a patient experiences. However, it does not slow the progression of the condition. It is given as an injection, and patients can learn how to self-inject the medication at home. The upper arm, stomach, thigh, and outer hip can be used as injection sites. Patients should only inject this medication when it is at room temperature. It should never be heated. If the solution looks cloudy, it is unsafe to use.
During treatment with glatiramer acetate, patients have reported back pain, tiredness, vomiting, weakness, and irritation at the injection site. Less commonly, some individuals may experience anxiety, shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, chest pain, or a rapid heart rate. If these side effects are present, the patient should call their doctor immediately. Ideally, glatiramer acetate should be stored in a refrigerator. It cannot be kept for more than thirty days at room temperature.