Generic Name: golimumab (goe-LIM-ue-mab)
Brand Name: Simponi Aria
Serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis (TB), a fungal infection, and other types of infection, have occurred in patients using golimumab. Most patients who developed these infections were taking medicines that suppressed their immune system (eg, methotrexate, corticosteroids).
TB may be caused by a new infection or by reactivation of a previous infection. Patients should receive a TB skin test before using golimumab. Patients who test positive for TB should begin treatment for TB before starting golimumab. All patients should also be monitored for signs of TB while using golimumab, even if their TB test is negative. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of TB or any other infection (eg, persistent cough or sore throat, muscle weakness, weight loss, fever, chills, unusual vaginal discharge, painful or frequent urination, persistent feeling of being unwell).
Golimumab is a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker. Lymphoma and other types of cancer have been reported in children and teenagers treated with TNF blockers. This has been fatal in some cases. Talk with your doctor for more information.
Golimumab is used for:
Treating moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in certain patients when used along with methotrexate. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Golimumab is a TNF blocker. It works by blocking a protein (TNF-alpha) found in the body that causes inflammation.
Do NOT use golimumab if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in golimumab
- you have a severe infection (eg, sepsis) or any other active infection
- you are using abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, canakinumab, certolizumab, etanercept, infliximab, rilonacept, rituximab, tocilizumab, or tofacitinib
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using golimumab:
Some medical conditions may interact with golimumab. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances, including rubber or latex
- if you have a history of infections or an infection that keeps coming back; TB infection or positive TB skin test; hepatitis B infection or other liver problems; heart problems (eg, heart failure); low blood platelets, white blood cell counts, or hemoglobin; asthma; diabetes; HIV; lymphoma or another type of cancer; or numbness, tingling, or other nervous system problems (eg, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome)
- if you have an autoimmune disorder (eg, lupus) or other immune system problems, have psoriasis, have recently received a vaccine, or are scheduled to have surgery
- if you have open cuts or sores on your body, have flu-like symptoms or other signs of infection (eg, fever; chills; cough; warm, red, or painful skin), or are using medicine to treat an infection
- if you have ever lived in or traveled to an area where TB is common or if you have come into close contact with a person with active TB
- if you live, have lived, or traveled to certain parts of the country (eg, Ohio or Mississippi river valleys and the Southwest) where certain types of fungal infections (eg, histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, blastomycosis) are common. Check with your doctor if you are not sure if you have lived or traveled in an area where these infections are common
- if you take medicine that may decrease your immune system (eg, cyclosporine) or if you have recently received rituximab
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with golimumab. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, canakinumab, certolizumab, corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), etanercept, infliximab, rilonacept, rituximab, tocilizumab, or tofacitinib because the risk of serious infection may be increased
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), cyclosporine, or theophylline because their effectiveness may be decreased by golimumab
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if golimumab may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use golimumab:
Use golimumab as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Golimumab comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get golimumab refilled.
- Golimumab is given as an infusion at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about golimumab.
- If you miss a dose of golimumab, contact your doctor to find out what to do.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use golimumab.
Important safety information:
- Golimumab may cause dizziness or vision changes. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use golimumab with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do NOT use more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Golimumab may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- Golimumab may increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer (eg, leukemia, lymphoma, skin cancer). This may be fatal in some cases. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Contact your doctor right away if you develop unusual bruising, unusual lumps or swelling (eg, in your neck, armpit, or groin), change in the size or appearance of a mole, unusual skin changes (eg, lumps, growths), night sweats, recurring fever, unusual tiredness or weakness, persistent unexplained itching, or unexplained weight loss.
- A rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL) has been reported in patients using TNF blockers. These cases have been fatal. Most of these cases occurred in teenagers or young adults. Most of these patients had Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis. Patients who developed this cancer were usually using golimumab along with certain other medicines (azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine). Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any type of cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you develop stomach pain or tenderness, fever, night sweats, or unexplained weight loss.
- New or worsening nervous system problems (eg, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome, seizures) have occurred with TNF blockers. Tell your doctor if you have a condition that affects your nervous system. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Patients with inflammatory diseases (eg, RA) especially those who use golimumab may be at a higher risk of developing lymphoma. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your risk of developing any type of cancer while using golimumab.
- Some patients who use golimumab have developed new or worsening psoriasis. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any new or worsening skin problems (eg, red, flaky, or itchy skin patches).
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take golimumab before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Golimumab may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) or treatment with a weakened bacteria (eg, BCG for bladder cancer) while you are taking golimumab. Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
- If you have had hepatitis B, the virus can become active while you use golimumab. Your doctor should test you for hepatitis B before you begin using golimumab. Contact your doctor with any questions about this information.
- If you used golimumab during pregnancy, tell your baby's doctor. Your baby may have a higher risk of getting an infection for at least 6 months after birth. Your baby's doctor will also need to decide when your baby should receive any vaccine. Certain vaccines may cause infections.
- Lab tests, including TB, liver function, skin exams, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use golimumab. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use golimumab with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially an increased risk of infection.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if golimumab can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using golimumab while you are pregnant. It is not known if golimumab is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking golimumab.
Possible side effects of golimumab:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Cold sores; dizziness; hoarseness; mild itching, pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; mild sore throat; runny or stuffy nose.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood in the urine or stools; butterfly-shaped rash on the nose and cheeks; chest pain; diarrhea; eye pain; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; increased sensitivity to the sun; mental or mood changes; muscle pain or weakness; new or worsening joint pain; new or worsening red, scaly patches or raised bumps filled with pus on the skin; numbness, burning, or tingling; open sore that does not heal; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; severe or persistent pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; severe or persistent stomach pain; shortness of breath; signs of infection (eg, fever, chills, or persistent cough or sore throat; flu-like symptoms; muscle aches; warm, red, or painful skin or sores; increased or painful urination; night sweats; blood in the mucus; tooth pain); sudden or unexplained weight changes; swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet; symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, unusual nausea, loss of appetite); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; unusually pale skin; vision changes (eg, vision loss); vomiting; weakness in the arms or legs.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Golimumab is handled and stored by a health care provider. Keep golimumab out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about golimumab, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Golimumab is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take golimumab or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about golimumab. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to golimumab. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using golimumab.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.