FAQs about Simponi Aria, answered: administration, dosage, timeline of treatment, side effects, & more.
Simponi Aria is a medication used to treat autoimmune conditions and is administered via infusion. Below, we explain more about this prescription drug, along with information on dosing, cost, and side effects.
About Simponi Aria
Simponi Aria (golimumab) is a prescription drug called a monoclonal antibody and is in a class of drugs called biologics. It’s used in the treatment of diverse autoimmune conditions, including arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis) and ulcerative colitis.
- For arthritis
Simponi Aria, in combination with methotrexate (MTX), is used for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), this treatment helps reduce the signs and symptoms of the condition, improve physical function, and slow down joint damage.
It is also used to treat active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in those two years of age and older. For psoriatic arthritis, the drug reduces the signs and symptoms of joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, and improves physical function.
This drug is used to treat active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in adults — it helps improve physical function, reduce signs and symptoms, and prevent damage to the spine and other joints.
- For ulcerative colitis
For ulcerative colitis, the treatment is used to reduce inflammation and symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.
Simponi Aria works by blocking tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a protein responsible for causing inflammation in the body. It reduces inflammation and alleviates the signs and symptoms of these inflammatory diseases by inhibiting this protein.
It is administered through intravenous (IV) injection and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013. A different golimumab version that is injected subcutaneously (under the skin) was authorized in 2009 and is under the brand name Simponi.
Administration, dosing, & timeline of treatment with Simponi Aria
Simponi Aria is given via intravenous infusion. Depending on the disease being managed, a different Simponi Aria dosage is advised.
After an initial first dose, the suggested dose for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis is 2 mg/kg given as an IV infusion every eight weeks. Following a loading dosage, a quantity of 6 mg/kg administered every eight weeks is advised for ulcerative colitis.
Depending on the patient's health and how well they respond to Simponi Aria, the length of the course of therapy may also change. Simponi Aria therapy is typically long term, and a doctor may need to check on the patient frequently to confirm the drug’s continued effectiveness and ensure there aren’t any negative side effects.
When taking Simponi Aria, it's crucial to adhere to your healthcare provider's dosage and delivery recommendations. Never change the medication’s dosage or regularity without first talking to a healthcare professional. If you forget to take a dosage, get in touch with your doctor right away to reschedule it.
It is also important to get tested for blood counts, TB, and hepatitis B before starting Simponi Aria and while you're using it. Hepatitis B is especially important since being on Simponi Aria could lead to the reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV). Also, Simponi Aria is not approved for those with plaque psoriasis.
See full prescribing information and FDA-approved medication guide for more details about Simponi Aria.
Does Simponi Aria make you immunocompromised?
Yes, Simponi Aria can make you immunocompromised because it works by blocking tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which also plays a role in the body's immune response. That’s why blocking this protein can weaken the immune system's ability to fight infections.
As a result, those who take Simponi Aria may experience a higher risk of infections, including serious and potentially life-threatening infections like fungal infections, bacterial infections, and heart disease (congestive heart failure).
It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of infections or develop any signs of infection while taking Simponi Aria such as fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms.
Live vaccines should not be given concurrently with this medication. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you receive certain vaccinations before starting treatment with Simponi Aria to help reduce the risk of developing infections. It is important to follow all vaccination recommendations and to inform your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects after receiving a vaccination.
What are the side effects of Simponi Aria?
Side effects can include bronchitis, laryngitis, sore throat, hypertension (high blood pressure), rash, viral infections, bacterial infections, abnormal liver tests, decreased blood cells, runny nose, leukopenia, and shortness of breath.
People who use TNF-blocker medicines like Simponi Aria may also experience allergic reactions. Inform your doctor if you have any allergic reactions like hives, itching, nausea, skin rash, or chest pain. There may also be mild reactions at the injection site.
Additional side effects may include:
- Fatigue: This side effect may be more common during the first few weeks of treatment but may improve over time.
- Weight gain: Sudden weight gain is a possible side effect of Simponi Aria. However, it is not clear how often this occurs or how significant the weight gain may be.
- Eye symptoms: Simponi Aria can affect the eyes in rare cases, causing symptoms such as blurred vision, eye pain, or redness. If you experience any eye symptoms while taking Simponi Aria, it is important to contact your healthcare provider promptly.
- Nausea: Nausea is a common side effect of Simponi Aria, although it is usually mild and goes away on its own. If you experience severe or persistent nausea, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.
- Hair loss: Hair loss has been reported as a possible side effect of Simponi Aria, although it is not common. If you experience hair loss or thinning while taking Simponi Aria, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.
Some malignancies have been reported among pediatric patients and adolescents who received TNF inhibitors. Other rare, serious side effects like heart failure, risk of serious infection, nervous system problems like multiple sclerosis, lupus-like syndrome, lymphoma, and blood disorders may occur.
Additional safety information
The following drugs should not be taken with Simponi Aria:
- Orencia (abatacept)
- Kineret (anakinra)
- Actemra (tocilizumab)
- Rituxan (rituximab)
If you’re switching from a Biological Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) to another, it should be done with care.
Other drugs that may interact with Simponi Aria include other TNF-blockers such as:
- Humira (adalimumab)
- Enbrel (etanercept)
- Cimzia (certolizumab pegol)
There is no information if this drug can pass into breast milk, which is why it’s necessary to consult a healthcare professional before breastfeeding to prevent any adverse effects. Also, it’s not advised to give live vaccines to infants who were exposed to golimumab while in the womb for six months after the mother's last injection during pregnancy due to an increased risk of infection.
The severity and frequency of side effects from Simponi Aria can vary from person to person. If you have concerns about any side effects you are experiencing while taking Simponi Aria, it is important to call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
Cost of Simponi Aria treatment
Depending on the infusion center you go to, Simponi Aria intravenous solution (single-dose of 50 mg/4 mL) costs around $2,115 for a quantity of four. Prices do not apply to insurance policies.
Considering Simponi Aria treatment at Local Infusion?
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From questions on what to expect in your first treatment, to providing financial guidance and support, a dedicated Infusion Guide works with you and your physician to provide clear answers and assistance every step of the way.
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Should you have questions regarding pricing and insurance, our team will work with you to provide financial assistance support and minimize costs, providing a simple and stress-free experience.