Omvoh (mirikizumab-mrkz) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat ulcerative colitis in adults. Omvoh comes as a liquid solution that’s given as an injection under your skin or as an intravenous (IV) infusion.

Omvoh basics

Omvoh contains the active ingredient mirikizumab-mrkz.

Omvoh is a biologic medication. A biologic is made from parts of living organisms. It’s available only as a brand-name drug. It isn’t available in a biosimilar form.

Biosimilars are like generic drugs. But unlike generics, which are made for non-biologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologic drugs.

Biosimilars will have the same active ingredient core name as the brand-name drug. But they’ll have unique suffixes. This is why “-mrkz” appears at the end of the name of the active ingredient. This is to show that it’s distinct from biosimilars that may be created in the future.

Omvoh is used to treat moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in adults.

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that occurs when the lining of your colon and rectum become inflamed. (The colon and rectum are part of your lower digestive tract.) This inflammation may cause ulcers, which can lead to a range of symptoms. These include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and blood in your stool.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease with symptoms that can come and go. When symptoms are well managed, this is considered remission. When symptoms of ulcerative colitis worsen, it’s called a flare-up.

Omvoh works to treat ulcerative colitis symptoms by reducing inflammation in the lining of your colon.

Like most drugs, Omvoh may cause mild to serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects this drug may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:

  • your age
  • other health conditions you have
  • other medications you take

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Omvoh. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.

Mild side effects

Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Omvoh can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Omvoh’s prescribing information.

Side effects may differ slightly depending on how you receive the drug. Omvoh can be given as an intravenous (IV) infusion (an injection into a vein over a period of time), or it can be injected under your skin. Mild side effects of Omvoh that have been reported include:

Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Omvoh can occur. If you have serious side effects from Omvoh, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Omvoh that have been reported include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Omvoh.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Omvoh. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Your doctor will prescribe the dosage of Omvoh that’s right for you. See below for details.

Forms and strengths

Omvoh comes in two forms and strengths:

  • Liquid solution that’s given as an intravenous (IV) infusion: An IV infusion is an injection into your vein over a period of time. This form comes in one strength of 300 milligrams in 15 milliliters of solution (300 mg/15 mL).
  • Liquid solution in a single-dose pen that’s given as an injection under your skin: This form is available in one strength of 100 mg/1 mL.

Recommended dosages

Your first three doses of Omvoh will likely be 300 mg given as an IV infusion over a period of about 30 minutes. You’ll receive the infusions at a hospital, clinic, or infusion center. You’ll receive an infusion when Omvoh is first prescribed, then at week 4 and week 8 of your treatment.

After receiving your first three doses of Omvoh, you’ll likely be prescribed 200 mg given as an injection under your skin. Your doctor can show you or a caregiver how to give the injections at home.

The 200-mg injections are given with two single-use pens, meaning you’ll give yourself two injections per dose. You’ll inject your first dose at home 4 weeks after your last infusion (so 12 weeks after starting Omvoh). You’ll continue injecting this dose every 4 weeks.

Before starting Omvoh treatment, your doctor will likely check your liver function with blood tests. Your liver function will be tested at certain times for at least 24 weeks after you start treatment. Your doctor may also decide to continue checking your liver after you stop Omvoh treatment.

If your doctor is concerned about your liver function during your Omvoh treatment, they may pause or stop your treatment.

How to inject Omvoh

After receiving your first three doses of Omvoh by IV infusion, you’ll begin using the injection form of Omvoh. Your doctor can show you or a caregiver how to give the injections at home. They’ll also explain how much to use and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. The manufacturer also provides step-by-step instructions on how to inject the drug under your skin.

You should store Omvoh injection pens in the refrigerator and then set them out at room temperature for 30 minutes before injecting.

Omvoh injections may be given into your abdomen, the front of your thigh, or the back of your upper arm. (If using the upper arm as your injection site, you’ll need someone else to inject the dose for you.)

You’ll likely be prescribed a dose that requires two injections. But you should not give both injections in the exact same spot.

If you have questions about injecting Omvoh at home, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Questions about using Omvoh

Below are some common questions about using Omvoh.

  • What if I miss a dose of Omvoh?
    • If you miss an appointment to receive an infusion of Omvoh (one of your first three doses), call your doctor’s office as soon as possible to reschedule.
    • If you miss a dose of Omvoh at home, inject the dose as soon as possible. Then inject your next dose 4 weeks later. If you have questions about this, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Will I need to use Omvoh long term? Omvoh is typically used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely use it long term.
  • How long does Omvoh take to work? Omvoh begins to work after your first dose. In studies, some people had some of their symptoms eased about 3 weeks after starting Omvoh treatment. Your doctor will order tests throughout your treatment to check whether Omvoh is working to treat your condition.

Overdose

Do not use more Omvoh than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.

What to do in case you use too much Omvoh

Call your doctor if you think you’ve used too much Omvoh. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.

Below is important information you should consider before using Omvoh.

Interactions

Using a drug with certain medications, vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.

Omvoh can interact with certain vaccines. The drug is not known to interact with other medications, herbs, supplements, or foods.

Before starting Omvoh treatment, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you take. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Omvoh and alcohol

Alcohol is not known to interact with Omvoh.But alcohol may worsen your ulcerative colitis symptoms. Because of this, your doctor may recommend that you avoid alcohol or limit the amount you consume.

If you have questions about Omvoh and alcohol, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Omvoh interaction with certain vaccines

You should not receive live vaccines* during your Omvoh treatment or right before or after your treatment. This is because getting a live vaccine while you’re using Omvoh increases your risk of infection.

Examples of live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, and chickenpox. If you need to receive a vaccine, talk with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe to receive with Omvoh.

* Live vaccines contain weakened versions of the bacteria or virus that they’re meant to protect against.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

It’s not known whether it’s safe to use Omvoh during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

If you use Omvoh while pregnant, consider enrolling in the drug’s pregnancy registry. This registry helps collect information about pregnancy-related issues that may occur with Omvoh. To enroll, talk with your doctor or call 1-800-545-5979.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant or to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before starting Omvoh treatment.

Warnings

Omvoh can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Omvoh is a good treatment option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before you use Omvoh. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:

Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Omvoh.

Does Omvoh cause long-term side effects?

Possibly. Examples of long-term side effects reported in Omvoh’s studies include:

You can talk with your doctor to learn more about possible side effects of Omvoh and how long they may last.

Will Omvoh cure my ulcerative colitis?

No, Omvoh does not cure ulcerative colitis. There’s currently no cure for this condition. However, Omvoh can help manage your symptoms to reach or help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis.

If you have other questions about what to expect from your Omvoh treatment, talk with your doctor.

How does Omvoh compare with Humira?

Omvoh and adalimumab (Humira) are both used to treat moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. Humira is also used to treat other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and plaque psoriasis. (Omvoh isn’t used for these conditions.)

One difference between these drugs is that Omvoh is approved for ulcerative colitis in adults only. Humira, on the other hand, can also be used in certain children ages 5 years and older with this condition.

Both drugs come as a liquid solution that’s injected under your skin. But Omvoh may also be given as an intravenous (IV) infusion (an injection into your vein over a period of time).

Omvoh and Humira are both a type of drug called a monoclonal antibody. But they work differently to treat ulcerative colitis.

If you have other questions about how Omvoh and Humira compare, talk with your doctor. They can help you find the best treatment for you.

Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering Omvoh. What you’ll pay for Omvoh may depend on several things, such as your treatment plan and the pharmacy you use.

Here are a few things to consider regarding cost:

  • Cost information and savings coupons: You can visit Optum Perks to get price estimates of what you’d pay for Omvoh when using coupons from the site. See the coupon options below. (Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.)
  • Savings program: If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. A program called Omvoh Together may also be available.

You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.

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Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. If you’d like to explore an alternative to Omvoh, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that might work well for you.

The following drugs may also be used for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis:

If you have questions about using Omvoh, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:

  • Can I stop Omvoh treatment once my ulcerative colitis is in remission?
  • Do other drugs for ulcerative colitis have similar side effects to Omvoh?
  • If I can’t afford Omvoh, what other treatment options are available?

To get information on different conditions and tips for improving your health, subscribe to any of Healthline’s newsletters. You may also want to check out the online communities at Bezzy. It’s a place where people with certain conditions can find support and connect with others.

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 another 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.