- What is golimumab, and how does it work?
- What brand names are available for golimumab?
- Is golimumab available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for golimumab?
- What are the uses for golimumab?
- What are the side effects of golimumab?
- What is the dosage for golimumab?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with golimumab?
- Is golimumab safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about golimumab?
What is golimumab, and how does it work?
- Golimumab is an injectable synthetic (man-made) protein that binds to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) in the body and blocks the effects of TNFα in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis. As a result, the inflammation caused by these diseases and its consequences are reduced. Adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab (Cimzia) and etanercept (Enbrel) are two other injectable drugs that block TNFα.
- Inflammation is the body's reaction to injury and is a necessary process for the repair of injury. TNF is an protein that the body produces when there is inflammation. TNF promotes inflammation and the signs of inflammation, which, in the case of arthritis, include fever as well as pain, tenderness, and swelling of joints. The unchecked inflammation of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis as well as ankylosing spondylitis eventually leads to destruction of the joints. Golimumab binds to TNF in the body and thereby blocks the effects of TNF. As a result, inflammation and its inflammatory consequences in joints are reduced, and the progressive destruction of the joints is slowed or prevented.
- The FDA approved golimumab in April 2009.
What brand names are available for golimumab?
- Simponi and Simponi Aria are the brand names for golimumab available in the US.
Is golimumab available as a generic drug?
- No, this drug is not available in generic form.
Do I need a prescription for golimumab?
- Yes, you need a prescription for this drug.
What are the uses for golimumab?
- Golimumab is used in combination with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) for treating rheumatoid arthritis and alone or combined with methotrexate for treating psoriatic arthritis.
- It also is used for treating ankylosing spondylitis.
What are the side effects of golimumab?
Common side effects include:
- Elevated liver function test results
- Abnormal prickling, tingling, tickling, or burning sensation (paraesthesia)
Other side effects include:
- Injection site reactions (redness, swelling)
- Reduced levels of blood cells
- Reactivation of hepatitis B virus
- New onset or worsening of psoriasis
Less common side effects include:
Possible serious side effects include:
- Herpes infection
- Serious allergic reactions
- Liver toxicity
- Sepsis (bacteria in the blood)
- Fungal infections
Individuals with active infections should not be treated with golimumab. This drug may worsen or cause new diseases of the nervous system. It also may cause or worsen congestive heart failure. In studies, some patients who used golimumab or other TNFα blocking drugs developed cancer.
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