Golimumab: Uses & Side Effects

Golimumab (Simponi) is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or ulcerative colitis. Golimumab is sometimes used with another medicine called methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use golimumab if you are
allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • active or chronic infections;
  • hepatitis B (or if you are a carrier of the virus);
  • diabetes;
  • skin cancer (or a family history);
  • HIV, or a weak immune system;
  • a nerve-muscle disease such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome;
  • cancer or lymphoma;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • an allergy to latex rubber;
  • psoriasis; or
  • if you are scheduled to receive any vaccine.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had tuberculosis or if anyone in your household has tuberculosis. Also tell your doctor if you have recently traveled. Tuberculosis and some fungal infections are more common in certain parts of the world, and you may have been exposed during travel.

Using golimumab may increase your risk of developing autoimmune disorders or cancer, including skin cancer. Talk to your doctor about this risk and what symptoms to watch for.

Golimumab may cause a rare type of lymphoma (cancer) of the liver, spleen, and bone marrow that can be fatal. This has occurred mainly in teenagers and young men with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. However, anyone with an inflammatory autoimmune disorder may have a higher risk of lymphoma. Talk with your doctor about your own risk.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or
plan to become pregnant. Your baby could have an increased risk of infection
for up to 6 months if you use golimumab during pregnancy.

If you use golimumab during pregnancy, your
baby should not receive a live vaccine for the first 6 months after birth.

You should not breast-feed while using
golimumab.

Do not give this medication to anyone under
18 years old without medical advice.

Side effects

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

You may get
infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor
right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, feeling light-headed;
  • cough, shortness of breath;
  • night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, and feeling very tired;
  • skin sores, warmth, or redness;
  • diarrhea, stomach pain, coughing up blood; or
  • increased urination, or burning when you urinate.

Also call
your doctor at once if you have:

  • skin growths or changes in skin appearance;
  • shortness of breath with swelling of your ankles or feet;
  • vision changes;
  • numbness or tingly feeling, weakness in your arms or legs;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • liver problems–right-sided upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • new or worsening symptoms of lupus–muscle or joint pain, and a skin rash on your cheeks or arms that worsens in sunlight; or
  • signs of psoriasis–red or scaly patches of skin, flaking, pus.

Common side
effects may include:

  • infections, cold or flu symptoms;
  • abnormal liver function tests;
  • high blood pressure;
  • rash; or
  • pain, itching, redness, or swelling where the medicine was injected.

Keyword: Golimumab; Simponi.

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