Read the Medication Guide that comes with SIMPONI before you start taking it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This Medication Guide does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or treatment. It is important to remain under your doctor's care while using SIMPONI.
What is the most important information I should know about SIMPONI?
SIMPONI is a medicine that affects your immune system. SIMPONI can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Some people have serious infections while taking SIMPONI, including tuberculosis (TB), and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that spread throughout their body. Some people have died from these serious infections.
- Your doctor should test you for TB and hepatitis B before starting SIMPONI.
- Your doctor should monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with SIMPONI.
You should not start taking SIMPONI if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor says it is okay.
Before starting SIMPONI, tell your doctor if you:
- think you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection such as:
- fever, sweat, or chills
- muscle aches
- shortness of breath
- blood in phlegm
- weight loss
- warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
- diarrhea or stomach pain
- burning when you urinate or urinate more often than normal
- feel very tired
- are being treated for an infection
- get a lot of infections or have infections that keep coming back
- have diabetes, HIV, or a weak immune system. People with these conditions have a higher chance for infections.
- have TB, or have been in close contact with someone with TB
- live, have lived, or traveled to certain parts of the country (such as the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the Southwest) where there is an increased chance for getting certain kinds of fungal infections (histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, blastomycosis). These infections may happen or become more severe if you use SIMPONI. Ask your doctor if you do not know if you have lived in an area where these infections are common.
- have or have had hepatitis B
- use the medicine ORENCIA (abatacept), KINERET (anakinra), ACTEMRA (tocilizumab) or RITUXAN (rituximab)
After starting SIMPONI, call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of an infection. SIMPONI can make you more likely to get infections or make worse any infection that you have.
- For children and adults taking TNF-blocker medicines, including SIMPONI, the chances of getting cancer may increase.
- There have been cases of unusual cancers in children and teenage patients taking TNF-blocking agents.
- People with inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis, especially those with very active disease, may be more likely to get lymphoma.
- Some people treated with SIMPONI have developed certain kinds of skin cancer. If any changes in the appearance of your skin or growths on your skin occur during or after your treatment with SIMPONI, tell your doctor.
- Some people receiving medicines that are like SIMPONI, called TNF-blockers, developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of cancer often results in death. Most of these people were male teenagers or young men. Also, most people were being treated for Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis with a TNF-blocker and another medicine called IMURAN® (azathioprine) or PURINETHOL® (6-mercaptopurine, 6-MP).
What is SIMPONI?
SIMPONI is a prescription medicine called a Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blocker. SIMPONI is used in adults:
- with the medicine methotrexate to treat moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- to treat active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) alone or with methotrexate
- to treat active ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
- with moderate to severe active ulcerative colitis (UC) when certain other UC medicines have not worked well enough OR cannot be tolerated, OR if it is necessary to continue taking steroid medicines:
- to begin helping some of your symptoms
- in people who respond to SIMPONI, to get their UC under control (induce remission) and keep UC under control (sustain remission)
- to begin to improve the way the lining of your large intestine looks to your doctor during colonoscopy
You may continue to use other medicines that help treat your condition while taking SIMPONI, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and prescription steroids, as recommended by your doctor.
What should I tell my doctor before starting treatment with SIMPONI?
SIMPONI may not be right for you. Before starting SIMPONI, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- have an infection (see "What is the most important information I should know about SIMPONI?").
- have or have had lymphoma or any other type of cancer.
- have or had heart failure.
- have or have had a condition that affects your nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. People taking SIMPONI should not receive live vaccines or treatment with a weakened bacteria (such as BCG for bladder cancer). People taking SIMPONI can receive non-live vaccines.
- have a baby and you were using SIMPONI during your pregnancy. Tell your baby's doctor before your baby receives any vaccine. Your baby may have an increased chance of getting an infection for up to 6 months after birth.
- are allergic to rubber or latex. The needle cover on the prefilled syringe and SmartJect® autoinjector contains dry natural rubber.
- are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if SIMPONI will harm your unborn baby.
- are breastfeeding. You and your doctor should decide if you will take SIMPONI or breastfeed. You should not do both without talking to your doctor first.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially, tell your doctor if you:
- use ORENCIA (abatacept) or KINERET (anakinra). You should not take SIMPONI while you are also taking ORENCIA (abatacept) or KINERET (anakinra).
- use other TNF-blocker medicines, including REMICADE (infliximab), HUMIRA (adalimumab), ENBREL (etanercept), or CIMZIA (certolizumab pegol).
- receive RITUXAN (rituximab) or ACTEMRA (tocilizumab).
Ask your doctor if you are not sure if your medicine is one listed above.
Keep a list of all your medications with you to show your doctor and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine.
How should I use SIMPONI?
- SIMPONI is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection).
- If your doctor decides that you or a caregiver may be able to give your injections of SIMPONI at home, you should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject SIMPONI. Do not try to inject SIMPONI yourself until you have been shown the right way to give the injections by your doctor or nurse.
- Use SIMPONI exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will tell you how much SIMPONI to inject and when to inject it depending on your medical condition.
- SIMPONI comes in a prefilled syringe or SmartJect autoinjector. Your doctor will prescribe the type that is best for you.
- See the detailed Instructions for Use that comes with your SIMPONI for information about the right way to prepare and give your SIMPONI injections at home.
- Do not miss any doses of SIMPONI. If you forget to use SIMPONI, inject your dose as soon as you remember. Then, take your next dose at your regular scheduled time. In case you are not sure when to inject SIMPONI, call your doctor or pharmacist.
What are the possible side effects with SIMPONI?
SIMPONI can cause serious side effects, including:
See "What is the most important information I should know about SIMPONI?"
Hepatitis B infection in people who carry the virus in their blood.
- If you are a carrier of the hepatitis B virus (a virus that affects the liver), the virus can become active while you use SIMPONI. Your doctor should do blood tests before you start treatment with SIMPONI and while you are using SIMPONI. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms of a possible hepatitis B infection:
- feel very tired
- dark urine
- skin or eyes look yellow
- little or no appetite
- muscle aches
- clay-colored bowel movements
- stomach discomfort
- skin rash
Heart failure, including new heart failure or worsening of heart failure that you already have. New or worse heart failure can happen in people who use TNF-blocker medicines including SIMPONI.
- If you have heart failure, your condition should be watched closely while you take SIMPONI.
- Call your doctor right away if you get new or worsening symptoms of heart failure while taking SIMPONI (such as shortness of breath or swelling of your lower legs or feet).
Nervous System Problems
Rarely, people using TNF-blocker medicines, including SIMPONI, have nervous system problems such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- Tell your doctor right away if you get any of these symptoms:
- vision changes
- weakness in your arms or legs
- numbness or tingling in any part of your body
Liver problems can happen in people who use TNF-blocker medicines, including SIMPONI. These problems can lead to liver failure and death. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- feel very tired
- skin or eyes look yellow
- poor appetite or vomiting
- pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen)
Low blood counts have been seen with TNF-blockers, including SIMPONI. Your body may not make enough blood cells that help fight infections or help stop bleeding. Symptoms include fever, bruising or bleeding easily, or looking pale. Your doctor will check your blood counts before and during treatment with SIMPONI.
Common side effects with SIMPONI include:
- upper respiratory infection (runny nose, sore throat, and hoarseness or laryngitis)
- reaction at the site of injection (redness, swelling, itching, pain, bruising, or tingling)
- viral infections such as flu and oral cold sores
Other side effects with SIMPONI include:
- Immune System Problems. Rarely, people using TNF-blocker medicines have developed symptoms that are like the symptoms of Lupus. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- a rash on your cheeks or other parts of the body
- sensitivity to the sun
- new joint or muscle pains
- becoming very tired
- chest pain or shortness of breath
- swelling of the feet, ankles, or legs
- Psoriasis. Some people using SIMPONI had new psoriasis or worsening of psoriasis they already had. Tell your doctor if you develop red scaly patches or raised bumps that are filled with pus. Your doctor may decide to stop your treatment with SIMPONI.
- Allergic Reactions. Allergic reactions can happen in people who use TNF-blocker medicines including SIMPONI. Some reactions may be serious and can be life-threatening. Some of these reactions can happen after receiving your first dose of SIMPONI. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction:
- swollen face
- breathing trouble
- chest pain
These are not all of the side effects with SIMPONI. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store SIMPONI?
- Refrigerate SIMPONI at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
- Do not freeze SIMPONI.
- Keep SIMPONI in the carton to protect it from light when not being used.
- Do not shake SIMPONI.
Keep SIMPONI and all medicines out of the reach of children.
General Information about SIMPONI
- Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in the Medication Guide. Do not use SIMPONI for a condition for which it was not prescribed.
- Do not give SIMPONI to other people, even if they have the same condition that you have. It may harm them.
- This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about SIMPONI. If you would like more information, talk to your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about SIMPONI that is written for health professionals. For more information go to www.simponi.com or call 1-800-JANSSEN (1-800-526-7736).
What are the ingredients in SIMPONI?
Active ingredient: golimumab.
Inactive ingredients: L-histidine, L-histidine monohydrochloride monohydrate, sorbitol, polysorbate 80, and water for injection. SIMPONI does not contain preservatives.
This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Janssen Biotech, Inc.
Horsham, PA 19044
US License No. 1864
© Janssen Biotech, Inc. 2013