Simponi (golimumab) is a biologic medicine that helps the pain and swelling of arthritis. It works by blocking TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor), a type of signalling protein called a cytokine, that is involved in systemic inflammation. Simponi belongs to a class of similar medications called Anti-TNF agents.
Simponi is used in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Ulcerative Colitis, and other types of arthritis.
Simponi is available as a monthly subcutaneous (under the skin) injection called Simponi SC, and an IV infusion called Simponi IV given once every 8 weeks. The injection can be done quickly at home. The IV infusion is done in a specialized clinic by a trained nurse.
The normal dose for the monthly Simponi SC injection is 50mg.
Subcutaneous injections are easy to do compared to other types of injections. Patients can do them quickly at home. A small needle pokes just under the skin to deliver medicine into the “fatty tissue” below.
The normal dose for the Simponi IV infusion is 2 mg per kilogram of body weight. Patients start by receiving an initial infusion, followed by a second infusion 4 weeks later. After that, patients receive infusions every 8 weeks. Infusions take about 30 minutes.
Simponi can take about 2 weeks before patients start to feel its effects. Some patients notice a benefit shortly after their first dose, while in others it can take several weeks. It can take 4 to 12 weeks before patients feel a lot of benefit.
Simponi may be prescribed in combination with other rheumatology medications like methotrexate.
Important Tests and Risks
Simponi can make it a bit harder for people to fight off infections. Patients taking this medicine should call their doctor if they have a fever, think they have an infection, or have been prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection.
Patients should coordinate with their doctor to stop treatment before any surgery, and re-start once things have healed and there’s no sign of infection.
Patients should discuss all vaccinations with their doctor because some are not advisable to get while taking Simponi.
All patients should have a tuberculosis skin test done and get a chest x-ray before starting treatment.
Patients who are taking Simponi should have occasional blood tests as requested by their doctor to keep track of their arthritis and make sure the blood counts are ok.
Drug Identification Number (DIN): 02324776 (IV), 02324784 (SC), 02324776(SC)