Generic Copaxone Side Effects: Weight Gain, Painful Urination, Double Vision

Is generic Copaxone as good as brand name Copaxone? The answer is a big fat yes according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

Health care professionals and patients can be assured that FDA-approved generic drugs have met the same rigorous standards of quality as the brand-name drug. Before approving this generic product, given its complexity, we reviewed additional information to make sure that the generic product is as safe and effective as the brand name product. — Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

Ms. Woodcock issued the above statement following her agency’s approval of the first generic version of Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection) which is used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis.

The generic version is expected to sell at a significantly lower price than the branded version. According to the Wall Street Journal, quoting a drug executive, “the list price for the older version of Copaxone is about $72,000 per patient a year”.

If any, what are the generic Copaxone side effects? Since it is essentially the same as the brand it copies, it is safe to say that the side effects are the same as the branded version’s which are as follows:

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking glatiramer:

The more common Copaxone side effects (which need immediate medical attention) are as follows:

  • 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

Does Coxapone cause weight gain? Yes. Weight gain — and unusual weight loss — is one of the less common side of Copaxone use. Other less common Copaxone side effects (which need immediate medical attention) are as follows:

  • agitation
  • bloating or swelling
  • chills
  • confusion
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • feeling faint, dizzy, or lightheaded
  • 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
  • sweating
  • 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
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • unusual weight gain or loss

Rare Copaxone side effects (needs immediate medical attention)

  • back pain
  • blood in the urine
  • burning or stinging of the skin
  • continuous, uncontrolled back-and-forth or rolling eye movements
  • decreased sexual ability
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with moving
  • ear pain
  • fast breathing
  • irritation of the mouth and tongue (thrush)
  • loss of appetite
  • menstrual pain or changes
  • muscle pain
  • painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
  • sensation of motion, usually whirling, either of oneself or of one’s surroundings
  • speech problems
  • vision problems

Meanwhile, the following Copaxone side effects may subside and may not require immediate medical attention as your body adjusts to the treatment. However, if any of these side effects persists and do not disappear, be sure to get in touch with your doctor:

More common side effects (may not need immediate medical attention; consult doctor if it persists):

  • headache
  • increased sweating
  • lack or loss of strength
  • nausea
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting