This medication can decrease your body's ability to fight an infection. This effect can lead to very serious (possibly fatal) infections (e.g., fungal infections, bacterial infections including tuberculosis). You should have a tuberculosis (TB) skin test before and during treatment with this medication. Also tell your doctor your medical history, especially of past/recent/current infections. You should also tell your doctor if you have lived or traveled in areas where certain fungal infections (e.g., coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis) are common or if you have been near someone with tuberculosis. See Side Effects section for symptoms of infections to watch out for, and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of these symptoms.
If you are diagnosed with TB, you must first be treated for it before you start certolizumab to prevent a serious TB infection.
Though it is very unlikely to happen, there is a risk (especially in children/teens/young adults) of developing cancer (such as lymphoma, skin) due to this medication or due to your medical condition. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms such as unusual lumps/growths, skin changes, swollen glands, swollen or painful abdomen, unexplained weight loss, persistent fever or night sweats.
This medication is used to treat a bowel condition called Crohn's disease when it has not improved with other drugs. This medication is also used to reduce pain and swelling due to certain inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis). Certolizumab belongs to a class of drugs known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. It works by blocking TNF, a substance made by the body that causes inflammation.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using certolizumab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is given by injection under the skin, in the stomach or thigh area, as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor's directions and the schedule for your doses very carefully.
Remove this medication from the refrigerator and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes before injecting. Do not warm up this medication in any other way such as heating in the microwave or placing in hot water.
Do not inject into any areas of skin that are sore, bruised, red, scaly, or hard.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Gently swirl this medication to mix. Do not shake the medication. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark the days on a calendar when you need to receive the medication.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
See also Warning section.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you develop signs of infection while using this drug, such as: fever, chills, persistent sore throat, persistent cough, night sweats, trouble breathing, painful/frequent urination, unusual vaginal discharge, white patches in the mouth (oral thrush).
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, severe/unusual tiredness, easy bruising/bleeding, swollen joints, rash on nose and cheeks, eye pain, vision changes, dizziness, numbness/tingling of arms/legs, seizures.
Certolizumab may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease in people exposed to hepatitis B virus. Your doctor may order blood tests and watch for symptoms during treatment and for several months after your last treatment. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using certolizumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: any current/recent infection (such as HIV, hepatitis B, tuberculosis), any infection that keeps coming back, cuts or open sores, cancer, diabetes, heart failure, blood/bone marrow disorders, history of cancer (such as lymphoma), brain/nervous system disorders (such as multiple sclerosis, seizures).
Because certolizumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections, do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received the polio vaccine taken by mouth or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose. Also avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, flu). Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
Older adults are more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially the risk of infections.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: abatacept, anakinra, live vaccines (such as polio vaccine taken by mouth, flu vaccine inhaled through the nose), other drugs that weaken the immune system (such as azathioprine, cancer chemotherapy, cyclosporine).
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including aPTT tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count, liver function tests, skin exams) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store the entire carton in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Protect from light. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised July 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
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