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Vol. 77, No. 3-4, 2008
Issue release date: August 2008
Digestion 2008;77:198–200

Development of Crohn’s Disease in a Patient with Multiple Sclerosis Treated with Copaxone

Charach G. · Grosskopf I. · Weintraub M.
Department of Internal Medicine ‘C’, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

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Background: Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) is a synthetic copolymer mimicking a portion of myelin basic protein, one of several putative autoantigens in multiple sclerosis (MS). Copaxone suppresses the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, a key mediator of inflammation in MS as well as in other pathologies, such as colitis of interstitial bowel disease (IBD). Copaxone is a drug approved for the treatment of MS, and one that is very well tolerated with a high safety profile and relatively few side effects. Crohn’s disease has not been associated with its administration. Methods: We describe a patient with MS in remission who had not exhibited any signs of IBD in the past. She had been on Copaxone 20 mg/day treatment for 2 years when she first exhibited gastrointestinal symptoms. Results: Our patient developed Crohn’s disease while on Copaxone treatment as a consequence of long-term immunosuppression. Conclusions: Clinicians should be aware that Crohn’s disease is a potential novel adverse drug effect of Copaxone.

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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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