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Simponi: A Powerful Treatment for Inflammatory Conditions

Woman with back pain

Simponi, known by its generic name, golimumab, is a prescription medication used to treat various inflammatory conditions. It is commonly given by intravenous (IV) or subcutaneous injection. 

Before taking the medication, it is important to inform your doctor:

  • About your drug and food allergies. If you are allergic to any drug, preservatives, or food, tell your pharmacist or doctor before starting Simponi.
  • About your disease history. If you are suffering from any chronic diseases, or have had any disease in the past, especially HIV or diabetes, tell your doctor.
  • If you are prone to infection, have a history of infection in the past, or have a weakened immune system.
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.

What Is Simponi?

Simponi is a prescription medication that falls under the class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. It is used alone or in combination with other drugs, such as methotrexate. Simponi is used to treat various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

What Is Simponi Used To Treat?

Simponi is used to treat the following diseases:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis or RA: RA is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease that causes inflammation (swelling and pain) in the affected areas of the body, commonly the joints.
  • Psoriatic arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that affects people with a skin condition called psoriasis. 
  • Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis is the inflammation of the long intestine (colon and rectum).
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis: Ankylosing spondylitis is also an inflammatory disease that affects the spine, leading to chronic back pain.

How Is Simponi Administered?

  • Simponi should be administered exactly as recommended by your doctor. The duration of Simponi treatment may vary according to the patient’s disease, medical history, and health condition(s).
  • The medication comes in injectable dosage forms. It is administered either by subcutaneous route (under the skin) or intravenous route (into the vein).
  • Simponi should not be administered to children younger than 2 years of age.
  • The drug is injected slowly, and it should be administered at a different body area each time the dose is given.
  • Simponi is usually administered once per month subcutaneously.

How Does Simponi Work?

When we suffer from any infection, our immune systems release certain substances, like white blood cells and a protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) as a defense mechanism, and they, in turn, cause inflammation. 

Inflammation is the defensive response of the body to infections and foreign substances, but too much inflammation can be harmful.

Patients with chronic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or ulcerative colitis, may have too much tumor necrosis factor, which leads to further diseases associated with inflammation.

Simponi works by binding and blocking extra tumor necrosis factor (TNF). This helps to control the inflammation of various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. 

Side Effects

Woman suffering from Simponi side effects

The common side effects include:

  • Cold symptoms, like sneezing, runny nose, and sore throat
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Minor pain, itchiness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Muscle aches
  • Upper respiratory tract infections.

The severe side effects include:

  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Infections

The common side effects go away on their own as your body gets used to the drug, but if they become severe, persistent, or intolerable, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Can Simponi Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss is not a side effect of Simponi. However, hair loss can be caused by another drug, methotrexate, that is sometimes given in combination with Simponi.

Dosage Form And Strength

Simponi comes in two dosage forms:

  • Subcutaneous solution for injection. The subcutaneous solution is available as a single-dose prefilled syringe and as a single-dose auto-injector.
  • Intravenous solution for injection. Simponi Aria intravenous solution comes in a single-dose vial.

Simponi is available in the following strengths:

Subcutaneous Solution:

  • 50 mg/0.5 ml (50 mg of active drug, golimumab, in 0.5 ml of solution)
  • 100 mg/1 ml (100 mg of active drug, golimumab, in 1 ml of solution)

Intravenous Solution:

  • 50 mg/4 ml (50 mg of active drug, golimumab, in 4 ml of solution)

Dose

The usual recommended dose of Simponi subcutaneous injection is a 50 mg injection administered under the skin once per month.

Drug Interactions

Simponi may interact with the following drugs:

  • Medications used for the treatment of seizures or epilepsy (anticonvulsants)
  • Cyclosporine
  • Digoxin
  • Theophylline
  • Rituximab
  • Abatacept
  • Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants)
  • Anakinra

Hence, it is crucial to inform your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications you use before starting Simponi drug therapy.

Storage Instructions

  • Simponi should be stored in the refrigerator. Do not freeze the solution for injection.
  • The medication should be kept away from direct light.
  • Used syringes and auto-injectors should be discarded in a closed container without the needles pointing or poking outwards.

Cost

The overall cost of Simponi treatment depends on various factors, like:

  • The disease history and medical condition of the patient.
  • The location and type of pharmacy where the patient purchases the drug.
  • Whether or not the patient’s insurance plan covers the Simponi drug treatment cost.
  • The treatment duration and the number of doses prescribed.

The average cost of a Simponi subcutaneous solution is around $6,188 for a supply of 0.5 ml (50 mg/0.5 ml). 

What Is the Difference Between Humira and Simponi?

Simponi and Humira have various similarities and differences. They are both prescription-only drugs given to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. 

Both medications are administered through injections. Simponi contains the active drug golimumab, and Humira contains the active drug adalimumab. Simponi and Humira can be given alone or in combination with methotrexate to children of age 2 years and older to treat polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Humira is available for administration as a single-use pen, while Simponi can be given through auto-injectors or pre-filled syringes. Simponi is injected once per month, and Humira injection is administered every week or every other week.

Simponi is indicated for the treatment of the following autoimmune and inflammatory conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis 

Humira is indicated for the treatment of the following autoimmune and inflammatory conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa
This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about your medical condition prior to starting any new treatment. AmeriPharma™ Specialty Care assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content. AmeriPharma™ Specialty Care does not operate all the websites/organizations listed here, nor is it responsible for the availability or reliability of their content. These listings do not imply or constitute an endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation by AmeriPharma™ Specialty Care. This webpage may contain references to brand-name prescription drugs that are trademarks or registered trademarks of pharmaceutical manufacturers not affiliated with AmeriPharma™ Specialty Care.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY Dr. Mark Alfonso, PharmD, BCMTMS

Dr. Mark Alfonso, PharmD was born and raised in Pueblo, CO. He received his pharmacy degree from the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy at the Anschutz Medical Campus in 2010. He was board certified in medication therapy management in 2022. The most rewarding part of his job is helping to answer patient questions and concerns. His areas of expertise are community pharmacy and medication therapy management.  In his free time, he enjoys reading and running.