Copaxone Side Effects
Skin problems at the injection site (such as pain, redness, infection, and inflammation) are the most common side effects reported with Copaxone. Other common problems (not associated with injection site reactions) include migraines, nausea, and weakness. While most side effects of this drug are minor, some may require immediate medical attention, including anxiety or chest pain right after an injection, allergic reactions, and fainting.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate); however, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Copaxone. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of side effects with you.)
Copaxone has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, some of the most common Copaxone side effects were injection site reactions (skin problems at the injection site). These injection site reactions included:
- Pain -- in up to 73 percent of people
- Redness -- up to 66 percent
- Infection -- up to 50 percent
- Inflammation -- up to 49 percent
- Itching -- up to 40 percent
- A lump -- up to 27 percent
- A hard or firm area -- up to 13 percent
- A welt -- up to 11 percent
- Bleeding -- up to 5 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 5 to 41 percent of people) included:
- General pain, neck pain, or back pain
- Flushing or hot flashes
- Joint pain
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite
- Muscle tightness
- Flu-like symptoms (such as fever or chills)
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Swollen lymph nodes
- An urgent need to urinate
- Vaginal yeast infection
- Swelling or water weight gain
- Shakiness (tremor)
- Ear pain
- A spinning sensation (vertigo)
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Migraine headaches.