Cimzia Cost, Side Effects, Dosing, Prescribing Information For Crohn's Disease And Rheumatoid Arthritis | Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD | RxEconsult

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Cimzia (certolizumab) Side Effects, Cost, Dosing Category: Rheumatoid Arthritis & Inflammatory Conditions by - October 6, 2011 | Views: 9928 | Likes: 0 | Comment: 0  

Brand Name: Cimzia
Generic Name: certolizumab pegol

Drug Class: Anti- TNFα
Manufacturer: UCB Group 
FDA Approval date: April 2008 

What is Cimzia?

Certolizumab is an injectable synthetic (man-made) protein that blocks the effects of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), therefore, reducing symptoms of arthritis (fever, pain, tenderness, and swelling of joints) and and symptoms of Crohn's disease (fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea).

What does Cimzia treat?

Cimzia is used for treatment of severe Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It may be used alone or combined with methotrexate or other non-biological rheumatoid arthritis drugs. It has also been studied for treating psoriatic arthritis. 

How effective is Cimzia?

Crohn’s disease

  • 35% of Cimzia treated subjects compared to 27% that received placebo responded after 6 weeks
  • 37% of Cimzia treated subjects compared to 27% that received placebo responded after 26 weeks
  • 29% of Cimzia treated subjects compared to 18% that received placebo were in remission after 26 weeks

Rheumatoid arthritis

  • 46% of Cimzia treated subjects compared to 9% that received placebo had clinical response after 24 weeks of treatment
  • 53% of Cimzia plus methotrexate treated subjects compared to 13% that received placebo showed clinical response after 52 weeks 

What are interesting facts about Cimzia

  • It is a pegylated anti-TNFα. Pegylation increases the duration of action of Cimzia and reduces the dosing frequency.
  • It is administered every 2-4 weeks.

How is Cimzia dosed? 

  • It is injected under the skin (thigh or abdomen)
  • Crohn’s disease: 400 mg initially, followed by 400 mg at weeks 2 and 4, then 400 mg every 4 weeks
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: 400 mg initially and at weeks 2 and 4, then 200 mg every other week or 400 mg every 4 weeks

What are the side effects of Cimzia?

Common: Respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and arthralgia (pain in joints), abdominal pain, diarrhea, intestinal obstruction

Serious: Tuberculosis, sepsis (bacteria in the blood), fungal infections, cancer, heart failure, reactivating hepatitis B, decrease in platelets and red blood cells

Drug interactions

Kineret (anakinra)
Orencia (abatacept)
Rituxan (rituximab)
Tysabri (natalizumab)
live attenuated vaccines

What is the cost of Cimzia?

Cimzia cost about $3,238 for one 200 mg/ml kit.

References: FDA Cimzia Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.


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