PRESCRIBED FOR: Certolizumab is used for treating signs and symptoms of moderate to severe Crohn's disease and maintaining response in adults unresponsive to usual treatment. It is also used for treating rheumatoid arthritis. It may be used alone or combined with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) or other drugs used for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common adverse effects in clinical studies were:
- respiratory tract infections,
- urinary tract infections, and
- arthralgia (pain in the joints),
- abdominal pain,
- intestinal obstruction,
- pain and
- itching at the site of injection.
Like other drugs that block TNFα, use of certolizumab has been associated with serious infections such as tuberculosis, sepsis (bacteria in the blood) and fungal infections. Individuals with active infections should not be treated with certolizumab. Certolizumab may worsen or cause new diseases of the nervous system. Certolizumab also may cause or worsen congestive heart failure. In studies, some patients who used certolizumab or other TNFα blocking drugs developed cancer. Since patients with Crohn's disease have a higher risk of cancers than the general population, the connection between cancer and use of certolizumab is unclear. Other side effects of certolizumab include hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions (including anaphylaxis) and reduced levels in the blood of platelets and red blood cells (aplastic anemia). Certolizumab may increase the risk of reactivating hepatitis B virus in chronic carriers of the virus.
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