What is it: Mitoxantrone belongs to the general group of medicines known as antineoplastics. It is used to treat some kinds of cancer. It is also used to treat some forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). This medicine will not cure MS, but may extend the time between relapses. Mitoxantrone seems to interfere with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by mitoxantrone, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor.
Use: Glatiramer injection is used to reduce the frequency of relapses (flare-ups) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RMMS). This medicine will not cure multiple sclerosis (MS), but may extend the time between relapses.
Serious Side Effects: Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common: anxiety; bleeding, hard lump, hives or welts, itching, pain, redness, or swelling at the place of injection; chest pain; cough; excessive muscle tone; fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse; flushing; joint pain; lower back or side pain; neck pain; painful or difficult urination; skin rash; swelling or puffiness of the face; swollen lymph glands; swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin; troubled breathing; agitation; bloating or swelling; chills; confusion; difficulty with swallowing; fainting; fever; headache, severe and throbbing; itching of the vagina or outside genitals; muscle aches; pain; pain during sexual intercourse; purple spots under the skin; rapid weight gain; red streaks on the skin; shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet; small lumps under the skin; spasm of the throat; strong urge to urinate; swelling of the fingers, arms, feet, or legs; swelling or puffiness of the face; thick, white curd-like vaginal discharge without odor or with mild odor; tightness in the chest or wheezing; tingling of the hands or feet; trembling or shaking of the hands or feet; unusual weight gain or loss.
Common Side Effects: This medicine may change the color of your urine to bluish-green. The whites of your eyes may also appear slightly bluish-green. More common: absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods; back pain; body aches or pains; congestion; constipation; diarrhea; dryness or soreness of the throat; hair loss; headache; longer or heavier menstrual periods; nausea or vomiting; oral bleeding; pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones; runny nose; sneezing; stopping of menstrual bleeding; stuffy nose; tender, swollen glands in the neck; thinning of the hair.
Precautions: While you are receiving mitoxantrone, your doctor may want you to drink extra fluids so that you will pass more urine. This will help prevent kidney problems and keep your kidneys working well. Mitoxantrone often causes nausea and vomiting. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medicine, even if your stomach is upset. Ask your doctor for ways to lessen these effects. This medicine comes with a patient package insert. Read and follow the information carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Mitoxantrone can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
Directions: Before you self-inject the glatiramer dose, decide where you will inject yourself. There are seven possible injection sites on your body (e.g., arms, thighs, hips, or lower abdomen or stomach area), and you should not use any site more than once each week. Marking a calendar will help you keep track of the sites you have used each day. Try to be consistent and give yourself the injection at the same time each day. Choose a time when you feel strongest. Also, do not inject the medicine in a part of the skin that is depressed.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
This medicine may cause a permanent depression under the skin at the injection site. Contact your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects at the injection site: depressed or indented skin; blue-green to black skin discoloration; or pain, redness, or sloughing (peeling) of the skin.
Storage: Pre prefilled syringes or vials of interferon beta-1a in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. If refrigeration is not available, the vials that have not been mixed with diluent may be kept for up to 30 days at room temperature, as long as the temperature does not go above 77 °F.
If You Miss a Dose: Take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. The next injection should be scheduled at least 48 hours later. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose. Do not double a dose. This can be toxic. Keep out of reach of children and pets