There is now another option available for the treatment of ulcerative colitis! The FDA has approved Simponi (golimumab) for adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. Here is what you need to know:
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the gut. It is immune-mediated and leads to chronic inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the intestines. Symtoms can include severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloody stools.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) estimate that UC affects up to 700,000 people in the United States. UC is a chronic disease with no known cure, and requires chronic management of symptoms.
What is Simponi?
Simponi is part of a group of medicines known as TNF-blockers. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) plays a role in causing the abnormal inflammatory and immune response of ulcerative colitis, and Simponi helps block the effect of TNF.
Simponi has previously been approved for other conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. You should only use Simponi for UC if you have become steroid-dependent, or if other treatment options available have failed, including corticosteroids, mercaptopurine, and azathioprine.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Simponi is available as a single-use injection, containing either 50 mg or 100 mg. Before self-administering, make you sure you go over the technique with either your provider or pharmacist, and read through the instructions. After starting therapy, Simponi is administered once a month.
Due to the way Simponi works you could be at an increased risk of developing infections, most commonly upper respiratory infections and fungal infections. Other potential side effects include injection-site reactions and swelling, shortness of breath, heart failure and neurologic problems.
You should not use Simponi if you have an active infection, a weak immune system, or diabetes.Additionally, you should be tested for Hepatitis B and tuberculosis before starting treatment.
If you have any questions, speak to your provider or pharmacist.
Till next week,
The GoodRx Pharmacist