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This medication is used in combination with another drug (methotrexate) to treat a certain type of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis). Golimumab belongs to a class of drugs known as TNF blockers. It works by blocking a protein (tumor necrosis factor - TNF) in your body's immune system that causes joint swelling and damage. Golimumab helps slow joint damage and reduce joint pain/swelling so you can move better.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using golimumab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This drug is given by slow injection into a vein by a health care professional, usually over 30 minutes. After the first dose, this medication is usually given again 4 weeks later, then every 8 weeks as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your weight.
You should receive this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when to receive the next dose.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
See also Warning section.
Redness, irritation, or pain at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bruising/bleeding, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, unsteadiness, unexplained muscle weakness, vision changes, muscle/joint pain, butterfly-shaped rash on the nose and cheeks, symptoms of heart failure (including swelling ankles/feet, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness), signs of infection (such as fever/chills/cough/persistent sore throat, unusual sweating), symptoms of liver damage (including dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellow eyes/skin).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, seizures.
Golimumab can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Therefore, tell your doctor right away if you develop any rash.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
See also Warning section.
Before using golimumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, 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: blood/bone marrow problems (such as low red/white blood cells and platelets), certain brain/nerve disorders (such as multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome), cancer, current/recent/repeated infections (including fungal, hepatitis B, tuberculosis), heart disease (especially congestive heart failure), lupus, seizures.
Golimumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
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 may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially the risk of infections.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other TNF-blockers (such as adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, infliximab), other drugs that weaken the immune system (such as abatacept, anakinra, cyclosporine).
Avoid treatments that contain live bacteria or viruses (such as BCG, flu vaccine inhaled through the nose) since they may increase your risk for serious infections while you are using golimumab.
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.
If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist to establish a new dosing schedule.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood counts, liver function, skin exams, TB/hepatitis B tests) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.