What Is Golimumab?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Golimumab is a medication with immunosuppressive effects that a doctor may prescribe to treat certain inflammatory conditions. This medication can cause extremely serious side effects, and a doctor will only prescribe it if it appears to be the most appropriate treatment for a patient's needs. Patients must be careful while taking golimumab and should seek treatment immediately if they start to experience unusual symptoms.

Golimumab can be useful in the treatment of conditions such as psoriatic arthritis.
Golimumab can be useful in the treatment of conditions such as psoriatic arthritis.

This medication is a monoclonal antibody of human origins, made by creating a line of cells that all produce the same compound. It works by blocking certain inflammatory proteins in the body and can be useful in the treatment of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis. Some patients may take it in combination therapy with another drug, methotrexate, if a doctor feels this is necessary. Patients on the drug will notice a decrease in pain and irritation.

Manufacturers produce this drug in autoinjectors for patients to use at home, usually once a month. A number of sites on the body can be used for golimumab injections, and it is important to rotate, rather than always placing the injection in the same location. Patients may notice some pain and irritation around the injection site and should tell their doctors if they notice significant swelling, redness, or secretions around the injection. Used needles should always go into a puncture-proof container, and when the container is full, the patient should take it to a hospital, pharmacy, or clinic for disposal.

Immunosuppression can have serious consequences. Patients on golimumab are at increased risk for infections and can experience more serious infections because their bodies are less able to fight them off. Use of medications like this can also lead to abnormally low white cell counts and in some cases may contribute to the development of cancers. While on the medication, patients must be careful about exposure to infectious agents and must avoid live vaccines, as their bodies may react abnormally.

Symptoms like fevers, chills, rashes, and difficulty breathing while on this medication are a cause for concern and should be discussed with a doctor. Patients may also notice nausea and diarrhea while taking the drug. Responses to golimumab can also be complicated by other medications or underlying conditions, and patients should discuss their complete medical history before taking it to determine whether it is safe and appropriate for them. If a patient reacts badly, the doctor may propose a different line of treatment to address the patient's health condition.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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