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(certolizumab pegol) lyophilized powder or solution for subcutaneous use

Read the Medication Guide that comes with CIMZIA before you start using it, and before each injection of CIMZIA. This Medication Guide does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment.

What is the most important information I should know about CIMZIA?

CIMZIA is a medicine that affects your immune system. CIMZIA can lower the ability of the immune system to fight infections. Serious infections have happened in patients taking CIMZIA. These infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some patients have died from these infections.

  • Your healthcare provider should test you for TB before starting CIMZIA.
  • Your healthcare provider should monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with CIMZIA.

You should not start receiving CIMZIA if you have any kind of infection unless your healthcare provider says it is okay.

Before you receive CIMZIA, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Think you have an infection, flu-like symptoms, or have any other symptoms of an infection such as:
    • weight loss
    • fever, sweat, or chills
    • muscle aches
    • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
    • cough
    • shortness of breath
    • diarrhea or stomach pain normal
    • blood in phlegm
    • burning when you urinate or urinate more often than
    • feeling very tired
  • are being treated for an infection
  • get a lot of infections or have infections that keep coming back
  • have diabetes, HIV, or a weak immune system. People with these conditions have a higher chance for infections.
  • have tuberculosis (TB), or have been in close contact with someone with TB
  • were born in, lived in, or traveled to countries where there is more risk for getting TB. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure.
  • live or have lived in certain parts of the country (such as the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys) where there is an increased risk for getting certain kinds of fungal infections (histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, blastomycosis). These infections may develop or become more severe if you take CIMZIA. If you do not know if you have lived in an area where histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis is common, ask your healthcare provider.
  • have or have had hepatitis B
  • use the medicine Kineret® (anakinra), Orencia® (abatacept), Rituxan® (rituximab), or Tysabri® (natalizumab)

After starting CIMZIA, if you get an infection, any sign of an infection including a fever, cough, flu-like symptoms, or have open cuts or sores on your body, call your healthcare provider right away. CIMZIA can make you more likely to get infections or make any infection that you may have worse.

Certain types of Cancer

  • There have been cases of unusual cancers in children and teenage patients using TNF-blocking agents.
  • For people taking TNF-blocker medicines, including CIMZIA, the chances of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase.
  • People with RA, especially more serious RA, may have a higher chance for getting a kind of cancer called lymphoma.

What is CIMZIA?

CIMZIA is a prescription medicine called a Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blocker. CIMZIA is used in adult patients to:

What should I tell my healthcare provider before starting treatment with CIMZIA?

CIMZIA may not be right for you. Before starting CIMZIA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have an infection. (See, “What is the most important information I should know about CIMZIA?”)
  • have or have had any type of cancer.
  • have congestive heart failure.
  • have seizures, any numbness or tingling, or a disease that affects your nervous system such as multiple sclerosis.
  • are scheduled to receive a vaccine. Do not receive a live vaccine while taking CIMZIA.
  • are allergic to any of the ingredients in CIMZIA. See the end of this Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients in CIMZIA.
  • are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if CIMZIA will harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while receiving CIMZIA.
    Pregnancy Registry: If you become pregnant while taking CIMZIA, talk to your healthcare provider about registering in the pregnancy exposure registry for CIMZIA. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-877-311-8972. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of CIMZIA during pregnancy.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if CIMZIA passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will receive CIMZIA or breastfeed.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take the following medicines due to a higher chance for serious infections:

  • Kineret®(anakinra), Orencia®(abatacept), Rituxan®(rituximab), or Tysabri®(natalizumab).
  • medicines called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blockers such as Remicade®(infliximab), Humira®(adalimumab), Enbrel®(etanercept), or Simponi®(golimumab).

Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure.

You should not take CIMZIA while you take any of these medicines.

How should I receive CIMZIA?

  • CIMZIA comes as lyophilized powder or as a solution in a prefilled syringe for injection.
  • If your healthcare provider prescribes the CIMZIA powder, your CIMZIA should be injected by a healthcare provider. Each dose of CIMZIA will be given as 1 or 2 separate injections under the skin in your stomach area or upper thighs.
  • If your healthcare provider prescribes the CIMZIA prefilled syringe, you will be trained on how to inject CIMZIA.
  • You will receive a CIMZIA Prefilled Syringe Kit including a complete “Instructions for Use” booklet for the right way to inject CIMZIA.
  • Read the detailed Instructions for Use booklet for instructions about how to prepare and inject your dose of CIMZIA, and how to properly throw away used syringes containing the needle.
  • Do not give yourself an injection of CIMZIA unless you have been shown by your healthcare provider. A family member or friend can also be trained to help you give your injection. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions.
  • CIMZIA is given by an injection under the skin. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much and how often to inject CIMZIA. Do not use more CIMZIA or inject more often than prescribed.
  • You may need more than 1 injection at a time depending on your prescribed dose of CIMZIA.
  • CIMZIA may be injected into your stomach or upper thighs. If you are prescribed more than 1 injection, each injection should be given at a different site in your stomach or upper thighs.
  • Make sure the solution in the prefilled syringe is clear to colorless to light yellow. The solution should be mostly free from particles. Do not use the CIMZIA prefilled syringe if the medicine looks cloudy or if there are large or colored particles.
  • Do not miss any doses of CIMZIA. If you miss a dose, call your healthcare provider or pharmacist for instructions.
  • Make sure to keep all follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

What are the possible side effects of CIMZIA?

CIMZIA can cause serious side effects including:

  • See “What is the most important information I should know about CIMZIA?”
  • Heart Failure including new heart failure or worsening of heart failure you already have. Symptoms include shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, or sudden weight gain.
  • Allergic Reactions. Signs of an allergic reaction include a skin rash, swelling or itching of the face, tongue, lips, or throat, or trouble breathing.
  • Hepatitis B virus reactivation in patients who carry the virus in their blood. In some cases patients have died as a result of hepatitis B virus being reactivated. Your doctor should monitor you carefully before and during treatment with CIMZIA to see if you carry the hepatitis B virus in your blood. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
    • feel unwell
    • skin or eyes look yellow
    • tiredness (fatigue)
    • poor appetite or vomiting
    • pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen)
  • New or worsening nervous system problems, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Guillain-Barre syndrome, seizures, or inflammation of the nerves of the eyes. Symptoms may include:
    • dizziness
    • numbness or tingling
    • problems with your vision
    • weakness in your arms or legs
  • Blood Problems. Your body may not make enough of the blood cells that help fight infections or help stop bleeding. Symptoms include a fever that doesn't go away, bruising or bleeding very easily, or looking very pale.
  • Immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome. Symptoms include shortness of breath, joint pain, or a rash on the cheeks or arms that worsens with sun exposure.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any serious side effects listed above.

The most common side effects of CIMZIA include:

  • upper respiratory infections (flu, cold)
  • rash
  • urinary tract infections (bladder infections)

Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

These are not all of the possible side effects of CIMZIA. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store CIMZIA?

  • Keep CIMZIA in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
  • Do not freeze CIMZIA.
  • Protect CIMZIA from light. Store CIMZIA in the carton it came in.
  • Do not use CIMZIA if the medicine is expired. Check the expiration date on the prefilled syringe or carton.
  • The CIMZIA prefilled syringe is made of glass. Do not drop or crush the syringe.

Keep CIMZIA and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about the safe and effective use of CIMZIA.

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use CIMZIA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give CIMZIA to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.

This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about CIMZIA. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information about CIMZIA that is written for health professionals.

For more information, go to or call 1-866-424-6942.

What are the ingredients in CIMZIA?

CIMZIA lyophilized powder:

Active ingredient: certolizumab pegol

Inactive ingredients: lactic acid, polysorbate, sucrose

CIMZIA lyophilized powder is mixed with sterile Water for Injection.

CIMZIA prefilled syringe:

Active ingredient: certolizumab pegol

Inactive ingredients: sodium acetate, sodium chloride, Water for Injection

CIMZIA has no preservatives.

This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Last reviewed on RxList: 11/6/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Cimzia - User Reviews

Cimzia User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Cimzia sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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