What is Simponi (golimumab)? How does it work (mechanism of action)?

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 a 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.
  • Simponi and Simponi Aria are the brand names for golimumab.
  • Simponi and Simponi Aria are not available in generic form.
  • You need a prescription for Simponi and Simponi Aria.

What is Simponi used for?

SLIDESHOW

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms & Treatment See Slideshow

What are the side effects of Simponi?

Common side effects include:

  1. Flu
  2. Elevated liver function test results
  3. Fever
  4. Abnormal prickling, tingling, tickling, or burning sensation (paraesthesia)

Other side effects include:

  1. Injection site reactions (redness, swelling)
  2. Reduced levels of blood cells
  3. Reactivation of hepatitis B virus
  4. New onset or worsening of psoriasis

Less common side effects include:

  1. Congestive heart failure
  2. Dizziness
  3. Hypertension
  4. Skin rash
  5. Constipation

Possible serious side effects include:

  1. Tuberculosis
  2. Herpes infection
  3. Cancer
  4. Serious allergic reactions
  5. Liver toxicity
  6. Sepsis (bacteria in the blood)
  7. 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.

What is the dosage for golimumab?

  • Golimumab is injected under the skin.
  • Injection sites should be rotated.
  • The recommended dose is 50 mg monthly.

Which drugs or supplements interact with golimumab?

QUESTION

The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer

Is golimumab safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

  • There are no adequate studies of golimumab in pregnant women.
  • It is not known whether this drug is excreted in breast milk.

What else should you know about golimumab?

What preparations of golimumab are available?
  • Injection (Prefilled Syringe): 50 mg/0.5 ml
How should you keep golimumab stored?
  • This drug should be stored refrigerated at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F).

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Summary

Golimumab (Simponi) is an injectable protein (man-made) used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Side effects are fever, paresthesia, and elevated liver function tests. Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.

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See more info: golimumab on RxList
Medically Reviewed on 12/4/2019
References
FDA Prescribing Information for Simponi.
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