Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Cimzia

(Certolizumab)

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Reduces inflammation.

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Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Cimzia (Certolizumab) is an effective medicine to calm down your immune system, but it can be expensive and it requires a lot of monitoring while you're taking it.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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Side effects for Cimzia (Certolizumab)

From clinical trials of Cimzia / Crohn's disease 

  • Any side effectAny side effect8% for Cimzia vs.7% for placebo

What to expect when you take Cimzia (Certolizumab)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • 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.

Risks and Warnings for Cimzia (Certolizumab)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Medications that lower immune system function

    Cimzia (Certolizumab) can increase the risk for developing serious infections, such as TB (tuberculosis) or infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. These can be life-threatening, so call your doctor right away if you develop a serious infection or a blood infection.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Cimzia (Certolizumab)

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The FDA category for this medication is B. It is advised that you: Probably safe
Pregnancy
Weight gain or loss
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Tell your doctor if you have night sweats, persistent fever, fatigue, weight loss, or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Cimzia (Certolizumab) can increase the risk of lymphoma, leukemia, and other cancers. Talk to your doctor if you have night sweats, persistent fever, fatigue, weight loss, or swollen lymph nodes.