by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
This information taken from the package insert on SIMPONI
SIMPONI is the first monthly, self-injectable anti–TNF-alpha therapy approved to treat adults with:
• Moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with the medicine methotrexate
• Active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) alone or with the medicine methotrexate
• Active ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
SIMPONI™ is given by self-injection under the skin once a month. This means that there are only 12 self-injections of SIMPONI™ a year to effectively control your signs and symptoms of RA, PsA and AS. Each 50 mg dose contains a low volume of medicine (0.5 mL). And the amount of time devoted to administering the SIMPONI™ medication will be just a few minutes every month.
SIMPONI™ is a prescription medicine. SIMPONI™ can lower your ability to fight infections. There are reports of serious infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that have spread throughout the body, including tuberculosis (TB) and histoplasmosis. Some of these infections have been fatal. Your doctor will test you for TB before starting SIMPONI™ and will monitor you for signs of TB during treatment. Tell your doctor if you have been in close contact with people with TB. Tell your doctor if you have been in a region (such as the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys and the Southwest) where certain fungal infections like histoplasmosis or coccidioidomycosis are common.
You should not start SIMPONI™ if you have any kind of infection. Tell your doctor if you are prone to or have a history of infections or have diabetes. You should also tell your doctor if you are currently being treated for an infection or if you have or develop any signs of an infection such as:
• fever, sweat, or chills
• muscle aches
• shortness of breath
• blood in phlegm
• weight loss
• warm, red, or painful skin or
sores on your body
• diarrhea or stomach pain
• burning when you urinate or
urinate more than normal
• feel very tired
Tell your doctor about all the medications you take or if you are scheduled to or recently received a vaccine.
Reactivation of hepatitis B virus has been reported in patients who are carriers of this virus and are taking TNF-blocker medicines, such as SIMPONI™. Some of these cases have been fatal. Your doctor may do blood tests before and after you start treatment with SIMPONI™. Tell your doctor if you know or think you may be a carrier of hepatitis B virus or if you experience signs of hepatitis B infection, such as:
• feel very tired
• skin or eyes look yellow
• little or no appetite
• muscle aches
• dark urine
• clay-colored bowel movements
• stomach discomfort
• skin rash
If you take SIMPONI™ or other TNF-blockers, your risk for developing lymphoma or other cancers may increase. You should tell your doctor if you have had or develop lymphoma or other cancers.
Heart failure can occur or get worse in people who use TNF-blockers like SIMPONI™. Your doctor will closely monitor you if you have heart failure. Tell your doctor right away if you get new or worsening symptoms of heart failure like shortness of breath or swelling of your lower legs or feet.
Rarely, people using TNF-blockers can have nervous system problems such as multiple sclerosis. Tell your doctor right away it you have symptoms like vision changes, weakness in your arms or legs, or numbness or tingling in any part of your body.
Liver problems can happen in people using TNF-blockers. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as feeling very tired, skin or eyes look yellow, poor appetite or vomiting, or pain on the right side of your stomach.
Low blood counts have been seen with people using TNF-blockers. If this occurs, your body may not make enough blood cells to help fight infections or help stop bleeding. Your doctor will check your blood counts before and during treatment. Tell your doctor if you have signs such as fever, bruising, bleeding easily, or paleness.
Rarely, people using TNF-blockers have developed lupus-like symptoms. Tell your doctor if you have any symptoms such as a rash on your cheeks or other parts of the body, sensitivity to the sun, new joint or muscle pain, becoming very tired, chest pain or shortness of breath, swelling of the feet, ankles and/or legs.
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to rubber or latex. The needle cover contains dry natural rubber.
Tell your doctor if you have any symptoms of an allergic reaction while taking SIMPONI™ such as hives, swollen face, breathing trouble, chest pain.
Common side effects of SIMPONI™ include: upper respiratory tract infection, nausea, abnormal liver tests, redness at site of injection, high blood pressure, bronchitis, dizziness, sinus infection, flu, runny nose, fever, cold sores, numbness or tingling.
Get more information about arthritis and related conditions as well as...
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Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
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