Golimumab is used together with other medicines to treat rheumatoid arthritis in adults. It helps reduce joint pain and swelling by reducing inflammation in your joints.
This medicine is also used on its own or together with other medicines to treat psoriatic arthritis (joint pain and swelling with inflammation of the skin) in adults.
Golimumab may also be used to treat axial spondyloarthritis (inflammation of the spine) and ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the bowel) in adults.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you. If you or a caregiver had been given the proper training on the preparation and injection techniques of Golimumab, you or your caregiver may do the administration.
Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not administer more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Golimumab is available as a single-use prefilled pen or syringe. Make sure you know how to use the specific device you have been given. If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medicine is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the upper arm, thigh or abdomen area).
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1.5 inches away from the previous injection site. Do not inject near the navel (belly button), into moles, scars or areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, hard or not intact.
The dose of Golimumab will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
Administer the missed dose as soon as you remember.
If a dose is less than 2 weeks late, administer the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
If a dose is more than 2 weeks late, administer the missed dose and start a new schedule based on this date.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to administer your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- tuberculosis or TB, or any other severe infections
- moderate to severe heart failure
as Golimumab may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of a serious infection or an infection that keeps on coming back
- history of TB or hepatitis B infection, or have been in close contact to someone with these condition
- at risk of an infection e.g. diabetes, HIV infection, weak immune system
- residing, lived or travelled in an area where certain infections are common
- blood disorder such as low platelet, red or white blood cell
- disorder of the nervous system
- heart disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Children and elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects of Golimumab.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are using this medicine.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Screening for infections such as TB or hepatitis B, and risk assessment for cancer may be needed to check the appropriateness of Golimumab therapy.
- You may need to have routine blood tests (e.g. complete blood count, liver function). Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring of signs and symptoms of infections or toxicity may be needed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Golimumab may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: rashes, itching, redness, bruising, pain and swelling at the site of injection.
This medicine will cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat
- signs of infection e.g. fever, chills, night sweats, flu-like symptoms, sore throat, mouth sore, tiredness, persistent cough, painful or burning sensation when urinating
- signs of liver problems e.g. yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, light coloured stool, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
- signs of nerve problems e.g. change in your vision, sensitivity to heat or cold, decreased sense of touch, numbness or tingling sensation in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- signs of heart problems e.g. shortness of breath, chest pain, abnormal heartbeat, swelling of the legs or feet, sudden weight gain
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for rheumatoid arthritis e.g. abatacept, anakinra, infliximab, rituximab, tocilizumab
- warfarin (blood-thinning medicine)
- theophylline (medicine for asthma)
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Golimumab.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used. Do not shake. Protect from light.
Do not use this medicine if it becomes cloudy or if it has changed in colour. Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.