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 may also be used on its own or together with other medicines to treat psoriatic arthritis (joint pain and swelling with inflammation of the skin) and ankylosing spondylitis (inflammation of the spine) in adults.
Golimumab is given intravenously (into the vein) via a drip. It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer this medicine for you.
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.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Golimumab.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have tuberculosis or TB, or any other severe infections 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.
Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor.
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 may 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. Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.