Compare Copaxone vs. Gilenya

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Copaxone (Glatiramer)

Prescription only

Gilenya (fingolimod)

Prescription only
Lowers the frequency of multiple sclerosis exacerbations.

Copaxone (Glatiramer) is an injectable medicine that's effective for relapsing, remitting MS. It has fewer side effects than other meds, but the self-injections are needed frequently.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 30 reviewsforCopaxone
Treats relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

Gilenya (fingolimod) reduces the number of flare-ups, new brain lesions, and physical changes in relapsing MS, but it has many side effects.

3.0/ 5 average rating with 57 reviewsforGilenya
Upsides
  • One of the main treatments for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) that has been around for many years.
  • Helps reduce the frequency of MS relapse episodes.
  • Fewer side effects than other injectable MS medicines, like interferons.
  • Can be helpful in maintaining nerve functions.
  • Likely safe to use during pregnancy.
  • Copaxone (Glatiramer) is a possible treatment for primary-progressive MS (PPMS) even though the clinical evidence is not conclusive (there are currently no approved treatments for PPMS).
  • Gilenya (fingolimod) is the first once-daily pill you can take for relapsing forms of MS.
  • Gilenya (fingolimod) lowers relapse rates and the number of new MS lesions better than the leading injectable.
  • Gilenya (fingolimod) takes up to 2 months to leave your body, which is much shorter than another oral medication Aubagio(teriflunomide), which can take up to 2 years.
Downsides
  • Requires injections, either day or every other day (but no more than three times a week), depending on the dose you're taking.
  • Injection site reactions are common with pain, redness, swelling, and lipoatrophy (loss of fat under the skin where the injection is made).
  • Doesn't stop the progression of MS.
  • Gilenya (fingolimod) takes up to 2 months to leave your body – much longer than a similar medication, Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate), which takes only a few hours.If you haven't had chickenpox or been vaccinated for it yet, you'll need to get the vaccine at least 1 month before starting Gilenya (fingolimod).
  • Gilenya (fingolimod) might not be a good choice if you have kidney, liver, or heart problems.
  • If you've stopped taking Gilenya (fingolimod) for 2 weeks or more, you'll have to take your first dose at your doctor's office when restarting.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Injection
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price
$1953.29
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$5412.92
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Reviews
30 reviews so far
50%
saidit'sworth it
37%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Copaxone (Glatiramer)?

Leave a review
57 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
30%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Gilenya (fingolimod)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Copaxone (Glatiramer) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
22possible side effects
  • Headache
    25%
  • Abnormal liver blood tests
    15%
  • Nausea
    13%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Cough
    12%
  • Flu infection
    11%
  • Sinus infection
    11%
  • Stomach pain
    11%
  • Back pain
    10%
  • Pain in arms or legs
    10%
  • Shortness of breath
    9%
  • Bronchitis
    8%
  • High blood pressure
    8%
  • Migraine
    6%
  • Blurred vision
    4%
  • Low blood pressure
    3%
  • Hair loss
    3%
  • Herpes viral infections
    2%
  • Fungal skin infection
    2%
  • Weakness
    2%
  • Scaly skin
    2%
  • Low white blood cells
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Injection reaction
  • Skin damage
  • Chest pain
  • Immunosuppression
  • Risk to fetus
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Heart problems
    • Taking other medicines that slow heart rate
    • History of heart problems
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressant medicines
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • Eye problems
    • Diabetes
    • History of eye inflammation (uveitis)
  • Risk to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Breathing problems
    • History of lung problems
  • Liver problems
    • History of liver problems
See more detailed risks and warnings