Cimzia (Certolizumab) is a monoclonal antibody. It lowers inflammation in the body by blocking a protein called TNF (tumor necrosis factor).
Remicade (Infliximab) is a biologic response modifier. It works in the immune system to block a protein called TNF (tumor necrosis factor). Blocking TNF relieves symptoms and prevents disease progression.
› Although rare, Remicade (Infliximab) can cause serious liver injury. You'll need to have your liver enzymes tested regularly. If liver enzymes are significantly elevated and you have appetite/weight loss, stomach discomfort, vomiting, and notice dark urine, yellowing of skin/eyes, change in stool color, and skin rash you should stop treatment with Remicade (Infliximab) until you can be completely assessed,
Upsides and benefits
› In studies, people with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) taking methotrexate had improved symptoms when Cimzia (Certolizumab) was added to methotrexate.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) is as effective as other similar medicines for Crohn's disease. It can be an option for people taking other RA medications that have too many side effects of don't work anymore.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) lasts longer in the body than other RA medications, letting it work longer.
› Available in a prefilled syringe. This can make it easier to give yourself the injection.
› Treats certain types of arthritis and gastrointestinal conditions caused by an overactive immune system.
› Remicade has almost two decades of clinical trial data and real-life experience with millions of people who have used it.
› Initial dosing to introduce Remicade to your body might be a hassle, but then you only need to take it every 6-8 weeks depending on your condition.
Downsides and risks
› Can lower your immune system's ability to fight infections. You can get serious infections such as TB (tuberculosis) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria.
› Can have a higher risk for causing bladder infections, rash, and upper respiratory infections (cold or flu) compared to other similar medicines.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) can increase the risk of lymphoma, leukemia, and other cancers.
› Requires routine tests to check for infections.
› Not a good choice if you have a history of heart failure, nervous system problems, or hepatitis B.
› There's no generic available and it can be very expensive.
› You have to get every dose through an IV infusion at your doctor's office.
› It's expensive because there's no generic available yet.
› Remicade has a higher risk of serious infusion-related side effects during or after it's given since it's injected right into your veins. Your doctor can prescribe medication before your dose that may lower this risk.
› Remicade lowers your ability to fight infection and can cause serious life-threatening illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, have an active infection, diabetes, or had tuberculosis (TB) in the past.
› Not the best choice if you have heart failure.
› Talk to your baby's doctor if you're pregnant or breast-feeding. When women in a study took Remicade (Infliximab), the medicine was found in their breast milk 2 to 3 days after each dose, and in the baby's blood 6 months after they were born.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) is a medicine that's injected just under the skin (subcutaneous). It can be given in your doctor's office or you can do it yourself at home.
› It can take multiple doses before you start to see any effects, so don't change your dose without talking to your doctor.
› Tell your doctor if you have night sweats, persistent fever, fatigue, weight loss, or swollen lymph nodes.
› You'll need to have a TB (tuberculosis) test before you start Cimzia (Certolizumab) and periodically during treatment.
› Don't get any live vaccines while you're taking Cimzia (Certolizumab) since they may not work as well. Wait at least 3 months after you've stopped taking Cimzia (Certolizumab) before getting a live vaccine.
› Remicade (Infliximab) is a medication that's given as an infusion at your doctor's office or clinic.
› It's very important to read the patient Medication Guide when you first start using Remicade (Infliximab).
› It's possible to get an allergic reaction to Remicade (Infliximab) either immediately during the treatment or a several days after stopping it. Your doctor can give you medicines that'll lower this risk.
› You'll need to have a TB test before you start taking Remicade (Infliximab) and periodically during treatment.
› Remicade (Infliximab) lowers your immune system's ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you notice a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms. Children seem to get more infections than adults, so keep a close eye on them.
› If you have a young child, let their doctor know if you were on Remicade (Infliximab) while pregnant or nursing. It can increase their risk of infections for several months after your last dose and can delay their vaccine schedule.