What is Golimumab (Simponi®)?
Golimumab is in a class of drugs called biologics. Golimumab is a treatment for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, active psoriatic arthritis, or active ankylosing spondylitis. It is injected under the skin to reduce signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, such as joint swelling, pain, fatigue, and length of morning stiffness. Golimumab is commonly known as Simponi®. It can also be given as an infusion.
How do I take it?
Golimumab comes in a prefilled syringe (needle) or an automatic injector (pen). You should be instructed on how to give yourself injections by a healthcare professional. Each syringe or pen holds 50 mg of medication. You will inject one dose every 4 weeks. This medication must be refrigerated. Do not freeze this medicine.
How to inject Golimumab (Simponi®)
What about side effects?
The most common serious side effect is infection. Golimumab can lower the body’s ability to fight infection. Be sure to contact your physician if you have any signs of infection, such as fever, cough, or red or painful skin; or if you are planning a surgery. You may have to stop Golimumab while being treated for an infection. You may also have to stop if you are planning a surgery.
You will need to have a negative tuberculosis (TB) skin test before beginning Golimumab therapy. Your doctor may also want to check your blood to be sure you do not have Hepatitis B or C.
Make sure your doctor knows if you have any symptoms of heart disease, like shortness of breath when you lie down or exert yourself, swelling or edema of your legs, ankles, and feet, or chest pain or heaviness. This class of drugs may cause your heart disease to get worse.
You should not take a live vaccine (Flu-Mist nasal spray, chicken pox vaccine, shingles vaccine, measles booster) while on Golimumab. The flu-shot is not a live virus and all patients should consider having this vaccination yearly.
Occasionally some patients develop a reaction at the injection site, such as redness, pain or swelling. Notify your doctor to find out the best way to handle any reactions.
What about other medications?
When you are taking Golimumab, it is very important that your doctors know if you are taking any other medicine. This includes prescription and non-prescription medicines as well as birth control pills, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Golimumab can be taken with other medications – NSAIDS (Celebrex®, ibuprofen, naproxen), prednisone, methotrexate, and hydroxychloroquine. Never take Golimumab with another biologic medication such as Enbrel® or Humira®. Many patients need to continue other oral medications such as methotrexate while taking Golimumab.
What else should I know?
You must continue your regular visits to the rheumatologist. Your doctor will monitor you for any improvements in your disease and for any signs of infections.
Tell your doctor if you live or have lived in an area where fungal infections are more common. You may be at higher risk of getting a fungal infection while taking golimumab.
Lymphoma and other malignancies, some fatal, have been reported in children and adolescent patients treated with TNF blockers.
A Federal Drug Administration medication guide can be found at: