Glatiramer comes as a solution to inject in the fatty layer just under the skin (subcutaneously). It is usually injected once a day. To help you remember to inject glatiramer, inject it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use glatiramer exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You will receive your first dose of glatiramer in your doctor's office. After that, you can inject glatiramer yourself or have a friend or relative perform the injections. Before you use glatiramer yourself the first time, read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you or the person who will be injecting the medication how to inject it.
Glatiramer comes in prefilled syringes. Use each syringe only once and inject all the solution in the syringe. Even if there is still some solution left in the syringe after you inject, do not inject again. Dispose of used syringes in a puncture-resistant container. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to dispose of the puncture-resistant container.
You can inject glatiramer into seven parts of your body: right and left arms, thighs, and hips; and lower stomach. There are specific spots on each of these body parts where you can inject glatiramer. Refer to the diagram in the manufacturer's patient information for the exact places you can inject. You should inject in each of the body parts once a week, and you should pick a different place on the body part each time. Keep a list of the places where you have given injections so that you will not inject in these places again until some time has passed.
To inject glatiramer, follow these steps:
- Remove one blister pack from the carton of glatiramer syringes and place it on a clean flat surface. Wait 20 minutes to allow the medication to warm to room temperature.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry them with a clean towel.
- Peel back the paper label and remove the syringe from the blister pack. Check your prefilled syringe to be sure it is safe to use. It should be labeled with the correct name of the medication and should contain a clear colorless solution. Do not use the syringe if it is expired, is cloudy, or contains any particles. Small air bubbles in the syringe will not cause any problems and you should not try to remove them.
- Wipe the place on your skin where you will inject glatiramer with a fresh alcohol pad and wait several seconds to allow it to dry.
- Pick up the syringe like a pencil and remove the needle cover.
- Use your other hand to pinch a 2-inch (5-centimeter) fold of skin between your thumb and index finger.
- Hold the syringe at a 90-degree angle to your body and push the needle straight into your skin. When the needle is all the way in, let go of the pinched fold of skin.
- Hold the syringe steady while slowly pushing down the plunger until the syringe is empty.
- Pull the needle straight out.
- Press a dry cotton ball on the injection site for a few minutes, but do not rub it.
Glatiramer controls multiple sclerosis but does not cure it. Continue to use glatiramer even if you feel well. Do not stop using glatiramer without talking to your doctor.