This medication can decrease your body's ability to fight an infection. This effect can lead to very serious (possibly fatal) infections (such as fungal infections, bacterial infections including tuberculosis). 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 (such as coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis) are common or if you have been near someone with tuberculosis. Areas where these types of fungal infections are commonly found include the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the southwestern United States.
Your doctor will test you for tuberculosis (TB) infection before and during treatment with this drug. If you are diagnosed with TB, your doctor will first prescribe treatment for this to prevent a serious TB infection while using golimumab.
Though it is very unlikely to happen, there is a risk (especially in children/teens/young adults) of developing cancer (such as lymphoma, skin cancer) 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, swollen glands, unexplained weight loss, persistent fever, or night sweats.
This medication is used in combination with another drug (methotrexate) to treat a certain type of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis). Golimumab belongs to a class of drugs known as TNF blockers. It works by blocking a protein (tumor necrosis factor - TNF) in your body's immune system that causes joint swelling and damage. Golimumab helps slow joint damage and reduce joint pain/swelling so you can move better.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using golimumab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This drug is given by slow injection into a vein by a health care professional, usually over 30 minutes. After the first dose, this medication is usually given again 4 weeks later, then every 8 weeks as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your weight.
You should receive this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when to receive the next dose.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
See also Warning section.
Redness, irritation, or pain at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
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 have any serious side effects, including: easy bruising/bleeding, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, unsteadiness, unexplained muscle weakness, vision changes, muscle/joint pain, butterfly-shaped rash on the nose and cheeks, symptoms of heart failure (including swelling ankles/feet, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness), signs of infection (such as fever/chills/cough/persistent sore throat, unusual sweating), symptoms of liver damage (including dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellow eyes/skin).
Golimumab can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Therefore, tell your doctor right away if you develop any rash.
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.
See also Warning section.
Before using golimumab, 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: blood/bone marrow problems (such as low red/white blood cells and platelets), certain brain/nerve disorders (such as multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome), cancer, current/recent/repeated infections (including fungal, hepatitis B, tuberculosis), heart disease (especially congestive heart failure), lupus, seizures.
Golimumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
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.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side 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 unknown if 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: other TNF-blockers (such as adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, infliximab), other drugs that weaken the immune system (such as abatacept, anakinra, cyclosporine).
Avoid treatments that contain live bacteria or viruses (such as BCG, flu vaccine inhaled through the nose) since they may increase your risk for serious infections while you are using golimumab.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room 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 counts, liver function, skin exams, TB/hepatitis B tests) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist to establish a new dosing schedule.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
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 October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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