Medications > Certolizumab | Cimzia > Certolizumab (Cimzia) – pictopamphlet
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CERTOLIZUMAB (Cimzia) [Sir-toe-LIZ-you-mab]
How to use this medication
Some people with arthritis have too much TNF. TNF is a protein found in the body that can cause pain and swelling in the joints. Certolizumab is a biologic medicine that blocks TNF and helps the pain and swelling of arthritis.
Certolizumab is given by injection once every 2 weeks. The normal dose is 400 mg every 2 weeks for the first 3 doses then 200 mg every 2 weeks.
Certolizumab is taken only once every two (2) weeks. In some cases it may be given once a month. You, a friend, or a family member can be taught how to give the injections.
Although some patients can feel better quite quickly in others it can take a little longer. Keep taking your medication.
What you need to do
Certolizumab can make it harder for you to fight off infections. Stop taking certolizumab and call your doctor if:
- You develop a fever
- You think you have an infection
- You are given antibiotics to treat an infection
All patients should have a tuberculosis skin test & chest
x-ray before starting certolizumab. Talk to your doctor.
It is important to occasionally have your blood tested while taking certolizumab. This is important to keep track of your arthritis and to make sure your blood counts are ok.
Side effects & important things to know
Certolizumab can rarely cause a reaction (redness, pain, & itching) at the injection site.
Certolizumab should be stopped before surgery. It can be restarted once things have healed and there is no sign of infection. If you are having surgery, talk to your doctor about when to stop the medicine.
Certolizumab has not been studied in pregnancy. Let your doctor know if you are planning to get pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.
Certolizumab may make a condition called congestive heart failure (CHF) worse. Tell your doctor if you have CHF.
Other very rare side effects
Certolizumab has very rarely been associated with developing cancer. Tell your doctor if you have had cancer in the past.
When should I call my doctor
- If you feel sick and want to stop
- If you are concerned about any side effects
- If you want to or have already stopped the medicine