Skip to Content

Generic Name: certolizumab (SER toe LIZ oo mab)
Brand Names: Cimzia

What is Cimzia?

Cimzia (certolizumab) reduces the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation.

Cimzia is used to treat the symptoms of Crohn's disease after other drugs have been tried without success.

Cimzia is also used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults.

Important information

You should not be treated with Cimzia if you have an active infection.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with Cimzia. Contact your doctor right away if you have signs of infection, such as: fever, cough, flu symptoms, or skin sores.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, night sweats, itching, loss of appetite, weight loss, tiredness, feeling full after eating only a small amount, pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your shoulder, nausea, easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with Cimzia.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Cimzia if you are allergic to certolizumab, or if you have an active infection.

Some people using Cimzia have developed a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma (cancer) that affects the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, and it can be fatal. This has occurred mostly in teenage boys and young men using Cimzia or similar medicines to treat Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

However, people with autoimmune disorders (including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis) may have a higher risk of lymphoma. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk.

To make sure Cimzia is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • an active or chronic infection;

  • active tuberculosis infection that is not being treated;

  • signs of infection such as fever, cough, or flu symptoms;

  • diabetes;

  • HIV or a weak immune system;

  • hepatitis B (or if you are a carrier of the virus);

  • a history of cancer (especially skin cancer);

  • congestive heart failure;

  • epilepsy or seizure disorder;

  • numbness or tingling, or a disease that affects your nerves or muscles (such as multiple sclerosis); or

  • if you are scheduled to receive any vaccines, or have recently been vaccinated with BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had tuberculosis, if anyone in your household has tuberculosis, or if you have recently traveled to an area where certain infections are common (Ohio River Valley, Mississippi River Valley, and the Southwest).

It is not known whether Cimzia will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while using this medicine.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of Cimzia on the baby.

It is not known whether certolizumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using Cimzia.

How is Cimzia given?

Before you start treatment with Cimzia, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have tuberculosis or other infections.

Cimzia is given as two injections under the skin of your stomach or thigh. This medication is usually given every 2 to 4 weeks. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Do not use the medicine if it looks cloudy or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medication.

Cimzia can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill.

While using Cimzia, you may need frequent blood tests. Your skin may also need to be checked for signs of skin cancer.

If you have ever had hepatitis B, Cimzia can cause this condition to come back or get worse. You will need frequent blood tests to check your liver function during treatment and for several months after you stop using this medicine.

Store this medicine in its original carton in the refrigerator. Protect from light and do not freeze.

Each single-use prefilled syringe is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.

Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Cimzia dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Cimzia for Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Initial dose: 400 mg subcutaneously (given as two subcutaneous injections of 200 mg) at weeks 0, 2, and 4, followed by 200 mg subcutaneously every other week
Maintenance dose: 400 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks in patients who obtain a clinical response

Comments:
-Injection sites should be rotated and injections should not be given in areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard. When a 400 mg dose is needed (given as 2 subcutaneous injections of 200 mg), injections should occur at separate sites in the thigh or abdomen.

Use: For treatment of adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Usual Adult Dose of Cimzia for Psoriatic Arthritis:

Initial dose: 400 mg subcutaneously (given as two subcutaneous injections of 200 mg) at weeks 0, 2, and 4, followed by 200 mg subcutaneously every other week
Maintenance dose: 400 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks in patients who obtain a clinical response

Comments:
-Injection sites should be rotated and injections should not be given in areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard. When a 400 mg dose is needed (given as 2 subcutaneous injections of 200 mg), injections should occur at separate sites in the thigh or abdomen.
-This drug can be given as monotherapy in case of intolerance to methotrexate (MTX) or when continued treatment with methotrexate is inappropriate.
-MTX should be continued during treatment with this drug where appropriate.
-Injection sites should be rotated and injections should not be given in areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard. When a 400 mg dose is needed (given as 2 subcutaneous injections of 200 mg), injections should occur at separate sites in the thigh or abdomen.

Use: For the treatment of adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA)

Usual Adult Dose of Cimzia for Ankylosing Spondylitis:

Initial dose: 400 mg subcutaneously (given as two subcutaneous injections of 200 mg) at weeks 0, 2, and 4, followed by 200 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks or 400 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks

Comments:
-Injection sites should be rotated and injections should not be given in areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard. When a 400 mg dose is needed (given as 2 subcutaneous injections of 200 mg), injections should occur at separate sites in the thigh or abdomen.

Use: For the treatment of adults with active ankylosing spondylitis

Usual Adult Dose of Cimzia for Crohn's Disease -- Maintenance:

Initial dose: 400 mg subcutaneously (given as two subcutaneous injections of 200 mg) at weeks 0, 2, and 4
Maintenance dose: 400 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks in patients who obtain a clinical response

Comments:
-Injection sites should be rotated and injections should not be given in areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard. When a 400 mg dose is needed (given as 2 subcutaneous injections of 200 mg), injections should occur at separate sites in the thigh or abdomen.

Use: For reducing signs of Crohn's disease and maintaining clinical response in adult patients with moderately to severely active disease who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of Cimzia.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving Cimzia?

Ask your doctor before receiving any vaccine while you are being treated with Cimzia.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Cimzia side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Cimzia: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with Cimzia. Contact your doctor right away if you have signs of infection, such as: fever, chills, cough, sweating, muscle pain, open sores or skin wounds, unusual tiredness, feeling short of breath, painful urination, diarrhea, or weight loss.

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms of lymphoma:

  • chest pain, cough, feeling short of breath;

  • swelling in your neck, underarm, or groin (this swelling may come and go);

  • fever, night sweats, itching, weight loss, feeling tired;

  • feeling full after eating only a small amount; or

  • pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your back or shoulder.

Stop using Cimzia and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);

  • swelling of your ankles or feet;

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;

  • a new growth on your skin (may be red or purple), or any change in the size or color of a mole, freckle, or bump on your skin;

  • nerve problems - vision problems, dizziness, numbness or tingly feeling, muscle weakness in your arms or legs;

  • liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • lupus-like syndrome - joint pain or swelling, trouble breathing, or a butterfly-shaped skin rash over your cheeks and nose (worsens in sunlight).

Common Cimzia side effects may include:

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • rash; or

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Cimzia?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • abatacept;

  • adalimumab;

  • anakinra;

  • etanercept;

  • golimumab;

  • infliximab;

  • natalizumab; or

  • rituximab.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with certolizumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Cimzia.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Cimzia only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2016 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.02. Revision Date: 2016-05-16, 9:53:07 AM.

Hide