Simponi™, also known by the generic name golimumab, is a prescription medication. This type of drug is called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker. It works by reducing inflammation in the body, which may help to relieve pain and stiffness. This medication generally is administered once per month.
The drug can be prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. These conditions are all inflammatory disorders. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis cause joint pain and stiffness. Spondylitis also causes pain in the joints, however, it can also result in pain in other areas.
Unlike many prescription medications, Simponi™ is not a pill that is taken orally. This drug is given by injection only. A doctor will usually train the patient how to inject himself with the medication. Until the patient is comfortable with self-injection, the doctor will administer the injections.
There are two possible methods of self-injection. Patients may choose to use a traditional syringe that is already filled with the appropriate dose of medication. Or the patient may choose to use an autoinjector, which is a device that conceals the needle and can be used with the touch of a button. The autoinjector may be a preferable option for patients who are uncomfortable with needles. Injections should never be administered to an area of skin that is bruised, tender, scarred, or otherwise damaged.
Simponi™ suppresses the body’s immune system. Patients taking this drug will need to undergo periodic tests to check their blood count. They will also need to see a doctor immediately if they experience symptoms of a possible infection, such as fever or flu symptoms, chills, or sore throat. While taking Simponi™, patients will be unable to receive a 'live' vaccines.
Patients taking Simponi™ may experience some side effects. Some of the possible mild side effects may include dizziness and cold symptoms, such as sneezing or a stuffy nose. Patients may also notice redness at the injection site.
This medication may also cause more serious side effects, including chest pain, coughing up blood, or numbness. Some patients may notice unusual weakness, vision changes, or joint pain. This drug may also cause abnormal skin color, loss of appetite, and seizures. Possible signs of an allergic reaction include facial swelling, problems breathing, or hives. Patients who experience such serious effects should seek medical attention immediately.
Simponi™ may not be appropriate for all patients. Some pre-existing medical conditions may preclude the use of this medication. For example, patients with diabetes, lupus, or any disease that affects the muscles or nerves may be unable to take Simponi™. Some medications may also interact with this drug, such as seizure medications, blood-thinners, or digoxin. Before using Simponi™, patients need to disclose their complete medical history to their doctor to ensure safety.