Copolymer-1 in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

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Abstract

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This article has been approved for continuing education credit. Objectives are listed below. Test questions follow at the end of the article along with further directions.

Objectives:

1. Explain indications, action and use of copolymer-1 in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Objectives:

2. Develop a teaching plan for patients addressing the use of copolymer-1.

Objectives:

Recent research in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) has yielded new therapies. Specifically, copolymer-1, a mixture of synthetic polypeptides composed of four amino acids has been effective in reducing relapse rates and disability in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. In a two-year multicenter, randomized, doubleblind, placebo-controlled trial of 251 patients, copolymer-1 was shown to reduce relapses by an average of 29% when compared with placebo.3 Sustained disability was also slightly reduced in the copolymer-1-treated group. The results of the clinical trial indicate that copolymer-1 positively alters the course of relapsing-remitting MS. With the present availability of copolymer-1, nurses are challenged to maintain current knowledge of nursing implications, interventions, patient education and goals for treatment.

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