Copolymer-1 in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

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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.


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


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


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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