Simponi, also known by its drug name, Golimumab, is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009 for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Simponi was approved to be used in combination with Methotrexate.
People with active infections of any sort should not begin taking Simponi. People over 65, those taking corticosteroids or Methotrexate, and those with additional comorbid medical conditions may be at increased risks for some side effects, such as infections. Simponi may not be appropriate for people who have been exposed to tuberculosis or who have demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis or transverse myelitis. Simponi may not be appropriate for breastfeeding mothers.
Simponi is an immunomodulator, or in other words, a drug that modulates the immune system. It is also considered a biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). It is a genetically engineered antibody, or protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize substances. Simponi is believed to work by attaching to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), a chemical messenger involved in autoimmune attacks. Simponi binds to TNF-α and prevents it from signaling the immune system to attack the connective tissues.
How do I take it?
Simponi is administered as a subcutaneous injection or an intravenous infusion. As an injection, Simponi is administered once a month. As an intravenous infusion (known as Simponi Aria), Simponi is administered during the first and fourth weeks, then every eight weeks going forward. Infusion takes about 30 minutes.
Your physician will prescribe Simponi and Methotrexate together, and you must use both drugs as directed in order to receive the full benefit of the treatment.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Simponi.
A 2010 article reviewed the results of four clinical trials of Golimumab (Simponi) for rheumatoid arthritis. The trials involved a total of 1,231 participants. The researchers concluded that Golimumab in combination with Methotrexate is significantly more effective than the placebo in treating rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers called for further studies into the long-term safety and efficacy into Simponi.
Common side effects of Simponi include pain, redness, itching, or swelling at the injection site. When administered as an intravenous infusion, Simponi may also cause high blood pressure.
You may be more likely to contract infections, including serious infections, due to decreased immune system function while taking Simponi. Contact your doctor if you develop signs of infection such as fever, cough, trouble breathing, white patches in the mouth, or unusual vaginal discharge. Ask your doctor before receiving any vaccines while taking Simponi.
Simponi may increase your chances of developing certain types of cancer such as lymphoma. This side effect may be more likely among children, adolescents and younger adults. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience unexplained weight loss, swollen lymph nodes or easy bruising or bleeding while taking Simponi.
Seek medical help immediately if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, severe dizziness, a rash, or itching or swelling of the face, tongue and throat.