Certolizumab - injection
Certolizumab - injection
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 reduce pain and swelling due to certain inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis). Some brands may also be used to treat a certain type of spine condition (axial spondyloarthritis) or a certain bowel condition (Crohn's disease). 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 and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet 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. Do not shake the medication. If you are using the vial, follow the instructions for adding the mixing liquid to the medication. Gently swirl the vial to mix. 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.
Cough, sore throat, stuffy/runny nose, burning/painful/frequent urination, or joint pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor right away if you develop signs of infection while using this drug, such as:
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
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:
In the US -
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 (such as latex found in the rubber syringe cap of some brands), 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:
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.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
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.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
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 in the original package in the refrigerator away from light and moisture. Do not freeze. If needed, this medication may be kept at room temperature. If kept at room temperature, do not put it back in the refrigerator. Use within the time directed in the product instructions. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
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 April 2019.
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