Generic Name: certolizumab, Injectable Solution

Generic Name:

certolizumab, Injectable Solution

Cimzia

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  • Cimzia
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for certolizumab

Injectable Solution
1

Certolizumab pegol is an injected drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis.

2

Common side effects include cold and flu viruses, rashes, and urinary tract infections.

3

The dose is injected by a healthcare provider every 2 weeks or once a month.

4

Certolizumab pegol can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Some people have serious infections because of taking certolizumab pegol.

5

Don’t start taking certolizumab pegol if you have any kind of infection, unless your doctor says it’s okay.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Risk of infection. Certolizumab pegol can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Some people have serious infections while taking certolizumab pegol. These include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Some people have died from these infections.

Your doctor may test you for TB before starting certolizumab pegol. They may monitor you closely for symptoms of TB during treatment, even if you’ve tested negative for TB.

Your doctor may check you for symptoms of any type of infection before, during, and after your treatment with certolizumab pegol. Don’t start taking certolizumab pegol if you have any kind of infection, unless your doctor says it’s okay.

Risk of cancer. There have been cases of unusual cancers in children and teenage patients who started using this type of medication when they were younger than 18 years of old. Certolizumab isn’t approved for use in children.

This medication may increase risk of lymphoma or other cancers.

Hepatitis B warning

If you carry the hepatitis B virus, it can become active while you use certolizumab pegol and damage your liver. Your doctor may do blood tests before you start treatment, while you’re using certolizumab pegol, and for several months after you stop.

Heart failure

This medication can make symptoms of heart failure worse. Call your doctor right away if you get symptoms of worsening heart failure, such as shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, and sudden weight gain.

Live vaccine warning

You shouldn’t receive live vaccines, such as the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, or treatment with weakened bacteria while taking certolizumab pegol. You can receive non-live vaccines.

Drug Features

Certolizumab pegol is an injectable drug. It’s given by a healthcare provider in a hospital or clinical setting. Your doctor may decide that you can inject yourself at home. If so, you should be properly trained how to inject yourself with the prefilled syringe by a doctor or nurse.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why It's Used

Certolizumab pegol is used to treat Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

How It Works

Certolizumab pegol works to block a substance in your body that causes inflammation caused by your immune system.

More Details

How It Works

Certolizumab pegol works to block a substance in your body that causes inflammation caused by your immune system. It belongs to a class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers.

Certolizumab blocks a substance called TNF-alpha that causes inflammation and makes your immune system react. TNF-alpha levels are high in people with inflammatory diseases like arthritis or Crohn’s disease. By blocking TNF-alpha, certolizumab helps reduce your symptoms.

SECTION 2 of 5

certolizumab Side Effects

Injectable Solution

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with certolizumab pegol include:

  • upper respiratory infections, such as the flu and common cold

  • rash

  • urinary tract infections

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • infections. Symptoms may include:

    • cough that doesn’t go away
    • low grade fever
    • unexplained weight loss
    • loss of body fat and muscle
  • heart failure. Symptoms may include:

    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
    • swelling of your ankles or feet
    • sudden weight gain
  • allergic reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • skin rash
    • swelling or itching of your face, tongue, lips, or throat
    • trouble breathing
  • returning hepatitis B virus infection in people who carry the virus. Symptoms may include:

    • not feeling well
    • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
    • tiredness
    • poor appetite or vomiting
    • pain on the right side of your stomach
  • New or worsening nervous system problems, such as multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, seizures, or inflammation of the nerves of the eyes. Symptoms may include:

    • dizziness
    • numbness or tingling
    • problems with your vision
    • weakness in your arms or legs
  • blood problems. Symptoms may include:

    • fever that doesn't go away
    • bruising or bleeding very easily
    • looking very pale
  • immune reactions, including a lupus-like syndrome. Symptoms may include:

    • shortness of breath
    • joint pain
    • rash on your cheeks or arms that gets worse with sun exposure
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Certolizumab pegol does not cause drowsiness.

Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

certolizumab May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable Solution

Certolizumab pegol can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs or vitamins you’re taking.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with infections

Tell your doctor if you have any kind of infection. These include small infections, such as an open cut or sore; or infections of your whole body, such as the flu. If you have an infection when taking certolizumab pegol, you may have a higher chance for getting serious side effects.

People with tuberculosis

If you’ve been treated for tuberculosis (TB) in the past, or are carrying the bacteria that causes TB, certolizumab may cause you to get TB again. Your doctor will examine you for a lung infection and perform a test to see if you have TB. If your doctor feels that you’re at risk for TB, you may be treated with medicine for TB before you begin and during treatment with certolizumab pegol.

People with hepatitis B virus infection

If you carry the hepatitis B virus, it can become active while you use certolizumab pegol and damage your liver. Your doctor may do blood tests before you start treatment, while you’re using certolizumab pegol, and for several months after you stop.

People with heart failure

This medication can make symptoms of heart failure worse. Call your doctor right away if you get symptoms of worsening heart failure, such as shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, and sudden weight gain.

People with nervous system problems

Certolizumab may make nervous system problems, like multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barre syndrome, worse. Use this medication with caution if you have one of these diseases.

Pregnant women

Certolizumab pegol is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown risk to the fetus
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Certolizumab pegol should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

Certolizumab pegol may pass into breast milk and can cause side effects in a breastfeeding child. However, babies who were exposed to certolizumab through breast milk didn’t have any side effects. Tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking certolizumab pegol.

For Seniors

If you’re over the age of 65 years, you may be at higher risk for a serious infection or certain types of cancers while taking certolizumab pegol.

For Children

The safety and effectiveness of certolizumab pegol haven’t been established in children younger than 18 year old.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you:

  • have an infection
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. You shouldn’t receive live vaccines, such as the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, or treatment with weakened bacteria while taking certolizumab pegol. You can receive non-live vaccines.

Allergies

Certolizumab pegol can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take certolizumab (Dosage)

Injectable Solution

Your doctor will determine a dose that’s right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dose. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Certolizumab pegol comes with risks if you don’t receive it how you should.

If You Don’t Take It at All

If you don’t take certolizumab pegol, your condition won’t improve and it may get worse.

If You Stop Taking It

Your condition may get worse if you stop taking certolizumab pegol.

If You Receive Too Much

No serious side effects have been seen in people who have taken up to twice the recommended dose. But you should call your doctor if you think you’ve received too much.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose/Appointment

If you miss a dose or appointment, ask your doctor when to schedule your next one.

How to Tell the Drug Is Working

You may be able to tell this drug is working for Crohn’s disease if you have less diarrhea, bloody stools, and stomach pain.

You may be able to tell it’s working for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis if you have less joint pain and are able to move better.

This is a long-term medication.

This drug is given every 2 or 4 weeks

Your doctor will tell you how often to schedule your appointments to receive your injections.

Can I Drive Home After?

This medication isn’t sedating and shouldn’t make it more difficult to drive home after the treatment.

Travel

Tell your doctor about your travel plans. Certolizumab pegol is given every 2 or 4 weeks. If you plan to travel, talk to your doctor about your travel plans and determine if they will affect your dosing schedule.

Clinical Monitoring

Tuberculosis (TB): Your doctor may test you for TB before starting certolizumab pegol. They may check you closely for signs and symptoms of the condition during treatment.

Hepatitis B virus: Your doctor may do blood tests before you start treatment, while you’re using certolizumab pegol, and for several months after you stop.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for certolizumab pegol.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does certolizumab Cost?

Injectable Solution
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

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Lowest price for certolizumab

Membership warehouse $3,081.83
Publix $3,092.63
Kroger Pharmacy $3,094.01
These represent the lowest cash prices for certolizumab and may be lower than your insurance.

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These represent the lowest cash prices for certolizumab and may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 18, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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