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Cimzia Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), a TFN blocker, is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease and maintaining clinical response in adult patients with moderately to severely active disease. Side effects include but are not limited to: serious infections, malignancies, and heart failure.
Cimzia is administered by subcutaneous injection available in 200mg strength per ml in sterile vials. Patients treated with Cimzia are at an increased risk for developing serious infections involving various organ systems and sites that may lead to hospitalization or death. An increased risk of serious infections has been seen in clinical studies of other TNF blocking agents used in combination with anakinra or abatacept with no added benefit. Do not give live vaccines including attenuated vaccines with Cimzia. Cimzia should only be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. A decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing of discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Our Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Cimzia in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms of lymphoma:
- chest pain, cough, feeling short of breath;
- swelling in your neck, underarm, or groin (this swelling may come and go);
- fever, night sweats, itching, weight loss, feeling tired;
- feeling full after eating only a small amount; or
- pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your back or shoulder.
Stop using certolizumab and call your doctor at once if you have:
- signs of infection (fever, chills, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, flu symptoms);
- swelling of your ankles or feet;
- fast or slow heart rate;
- pain or burning when you urinate;
- confusion, neck stiffness, seizure (convulsions);
- severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
- vision problems, dizziness, numbness or tingly feeling, muscle weakness in your arms or legs;
- joint pain or swelling with fever, muscle aches, nausea, unusual thoughts or behavior, and/or seizure (convulsions); or
- patchy skin color, red spots, or a butterfly-shaped skin rash over your cheeks and nose (worsens in sunlight).
Common side effects may include:
- stuffy nose, sinus pain;
- stomach pain, mild diarrhea, constipation; or
- pain, redness, itching, swelling, or bleeding where the medicine was injected.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Cimzia (Certolizumab Pegol Injection)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Cimzia Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy/runny nose, burning/painful/frequent urination, or joint pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if you develop signs of infection while using this drug, such as: fever, chills, persistent sore throat, persistent cough, night sweats, trouble breathing, painful/frequent urination, unusual vaginal discharge, white patches in the mouth (oral thrush).
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, severe/unusual tiredness, easy bruising/bleeding, swollen joints, rash on nose and cheeks, eye pain, vision changes, dizziness, numbness/tingling of arms/legs, seizures.
Certolizumab may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease in people exposed to hepatitis B virus. Your doctor may order blood tests and watch for symptoms during treatment and for several months after your last treatment. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Cimzia (Certolizumab Pegol Injection)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Cimzia FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
Clinical Trials Experience
The most serious adverse reactions were:
- Serious Infections [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Malignancies [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Heart Failure [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying and controlled conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug, and may not predict the rates observed in a broader patient population in clinical practice.
In premarketing controlled trials of all patient populations combined the most common adverse reactions ( ≥ 8%) were upper respiratory infections (18%), rash (9%) and urinary tract infections (8%).
Adverse Reactions Most Commonly Leading to Discontinuation of Treatment in Premarketing Controlled Trials
The proportion of patients with Crohn's disease who discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions in the controlled clinical studies was 8% for CIMZIA and 7% for placebo. The most common adverse reactions leading to the discontinuation of CIMZIA (for at least 2 patients and with a higher incidence than placebo) were abdominal pain (0.4% CIMZIA, 0.2% placebo), diarrhea (0.4% CIMZIA, 0% placebo), and intestinal obstruction (0.4% CIMZIA, 0% placebo).
The proportion of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions in the controlled clinical studies was 5% for CIMZIA and 2.5% for placebo. The most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of CIMZIA were tuberculosis infections (0.5%); and pyrexia, urticaria, pneumonia, and rash (0.3%).
Controlled Studies with Crohn's Disease
The data described below reflect exposure to CIMZIA at 400 mg subcutaneous dosing in studies of patients with Crohn's disease. In the safety population in controlled studies, a total of 620 patients with Crohn's disease received CIMZIA at a dose of 400 mg, and 614 subjects received placebo (including subjects randomized to placebo in Study CD2 following open label dosing of CIMZIA at Weeks 0, 2, 4). In controlled and uncontrolled studies, 1,564 patients received CIMZIA at some dose level, of whom 1,350 patients received 400 mg CIMZIA. Approximately 55% of subjects were female, 45% were male, and 94% were Caucasian. The majority of patients in the active group were between the ages of 18 and 64. During controlled clinical studies, the proportion of patients with serious adverse reactions was 10% for CIMZIA and 9% for placebo. The most common adverse reactions (occurring in ≥ 5% of
CIMZIA-treated patients, and with a higher incidence compared to placebo) in controlled clinical studies with CIMZIA were upper respiratory infections (e.g. nasopharyngitis, laryngitis, viral infection) in 20% of CIMZIA-treated patients and 13% of placebo-treated patients, urinary tract infections (e.g. bladder infection, bacteriuria, cystitis) in 7% of CIMZIA-treated patients and in 6% of placebo-treated patients, and arthralgia (6% CIMZIA, 4% placebo).
Other Adverse Reactions
The most commonly occurring adverse reactions in controlled trials of Crohn's disease were described above. Other serious or significant adverse reactions reported in controlled and uncontrolled studies in Crohn's disease and other diseases, occurring in patients receiving CIMZIA at doses of 400 mg or other doses include:
Cardiac disorders: Angina pectoris, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiac failure, hypertensive heart disease, myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia, pericardial effusion, pericarditis, stroke and transient ischemic attack.
General disorders and administration site conditions: Bleeding and injection site reactions.
Hepatobiliary disorders: Elevated liver enzymes and hepatitis.
Immune system disorders: Alopecia totalis.
Psychiatric disorders: Anxiety, bipolar disorder, and suicide attempt.
Renal and urinary disorders: Nephrotic syndrome and renal failure.
Reproductive system and breast disorders: Menstrual disorder.
Controlled Studies with Rheumatoid Arthritis
CIMZIA was studied primarily in placebo-controlled trials and in long-term follow-up studies. The data described below reflect the exposure to CIMZIA in 2,367 RA patients, including 2,030 exposed for at least 6 months, 1,663 exposed for at least one year and 282 for at least 2 years; and 1,774 in adequate and well-controlled studies. In placebo-controlled studies, the population had a median age of 53 years at entry; approximately 80% were females, 93% were Caucasian and all patients were suffering from active rheumatoid arthritis, with a median disease duration of 6.2 years. Most patients received the recommended dose of CIMZIA or higher.
Table 1 summarizes the reactions reported at a rate of at least 3% in patients treated with CIMZIA 200 mg every other week compared to placebo (saline formulation), given concomitantly with methotrexate.
Table 1: Adverse Reactions Reported by ≥ 3% of
Patients Treated with CIMZIA Dosed Every Other Week during Placebo-Controlled
Period of Rheumatoid Arthritis Studies, with Concomitant Methotrexate.
|Adverse Reaction (Preferred Term)||Placebo+ MTX# (%)
|CIMZIA 200 mg EOW + MTX(%)
|Upper respiratory tract infection||2||6|
|#EOW = Every other Week, MTX = Methotrexate.|
Hypertensive adverse reactions were observed more frequently in patients receiving CIMZIA than in controls. These adverse reactions occurred more frequently among patients with a baseline history of hypertension and among patients receiving concomitant corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Patients receiving CIMZIA 400 mg as monotherapy every 4 weeks in rheumatoid arthritis controlled clinical trials had similar adverse reactions to those patients receiving CIMZIA 200 mg every other week.
Other Adverse Reactions
Other infrequent adverse reactions (occurring in less than 3% of RA patients) were similar to those seen in Crohn's disease patients.
Psoriatic Arthritis Clinical Study
CIMZIA has been studied in 409 patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in a placebo-controlled trial. The safety profile for patients with PsA treated with CIMZIA was similar to the safety profile seen in patients with RA and previous experience with CIMZIA.
The incidence of infections in controlled studies in Crohn's disease was 38% for CIMZIA-treated patients and 30% for placebo-treated patients. The infections consisted primarily of upper respiratory infections (20% for CIMZIA, 13% for placebo). The incidence of serious infections during the controlled clinical studies was 3% per patient-year for CIMZIA-treated patients and 1% for placebo-treated patients. Serious infections observed included bacterial and viral infections, pneumonia, and pyelonephritis.
The incidence of new cases of infections in controlled clinical studies in rheumatoid arthritis was 0.91 per patient-year for all CIMZIA-treated patients and 0.72 per patient-year for placebo-treated patients. The infections consisted primarily of upper respiratory tract infections, herpes infections, urinary tract infections, and lower respiratory tract infections. In the controlled rheumatoid arthritis studies, there were more new cases of serious infection adverse reactions in the CIMZIA treatment groups, compared to the placebo groups (0.06 per patient-year for all CIMZIA doses vs. 0.02 per patient-year for placebo). Rates of serious infections in the 200 mg every other week dose group were 0.06 per patient-year and in the 400 mg every 4 weeks dose group were 0.04 per patient-year. Serious infections included tuberculosis, pneumonia, cellulitis, and pyelonephritis. In the placebo group, no serious infection occurred in more than one subject. There is no evidence of increased risk of infections with continued exposure over time [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Tuberculosis and Opportunistic Infections
In completed and ongoing global clinical studies in all indications including 5,118 CIMZIA-treated patients, the overall rate of tuberculosis is approximately 0.61 per 100 patient-years across all indications.
The majority of cases occurred in countries with high endemic rates of TB. Reports include cases of miliary, lymphatic, peritoneal, as well as pulmonary TB. The median time to onset of TB for all patients exposed to CIMZIA across all indications was 345 days. In the studies with CIMZIA in RA, there were 36 cases of TB among 2,367 exposed patients, including some fatal cases. Rare cases of opportunistic infections have also been reported in these clinical trials. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
In clinical studies of CIMZIA, the overall incidence rate of malignancies was similar for CIMZIA-treated and control patients. For some TNF blockers, more cases of malignancies have been observed among patients receiving those TNF blockers compared to control patients. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
In placebo-controlled and open-label rheumatoid arthritis studies, cases of new or worsening heart failure have been reported for CIMZIA-treated patients. The majority of these cases were mild to moderate and occurred during the first year of exposure. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
In clinical studies in Crohn's disease, 4% of patients treated with CIMZIA and 2% of patients treated with placebo that had negative baseline ANA titers developed positive titers during the studies. One of the 1,564 Crohn's disease patients treated with CIMZIA developed symptoms of a lupus-like syndrome.
In clinical trials of TNF blockers, including CIMZIA, in patients with RA, some patients have developed ANA. Four patients out of 2,367 patients treated with CIMZIA in RA clinical studies developed clinical signs suggestive of a lupus-like syndrome. The impact of long-term treatment with CIMZIA on the development of autoimmune diseases is unknown [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Patients were tested at multiple time points for antibodies to certolizumab pegol during Studies CD1 and CD2. The overall percentage of antibody positive patients was 8% in patients continuously exposed to CIMZIA, approximately 6% were neutralizing in vitro. No apparent correlation of antibody development to adverse events or efficacy was observed. Patients treated with concomitant immunosuppressants had a lower rate of antibody development than patients not taking immunosuppressants at baseline (3% and 11%, respectively). The following adverse events were reported in Crohn's disease patients who were antibody-positive (N = 100) at an incidence at least 3% higher compared to antibody-negative patients (N = 1,242): abdominal pain, arthralgia, edema peripheral, erythema nodosum, injection site erythema, injection site pain, pain in extremity, and upper respiratory tract infection.
The overall percentage of patients with antibodies to certolizumab pegol detectable on at least one occasion was 7% (105 of 1,509) in the rheumatoid arthritis placebo-controlled trials. Approximately one third (3%, 39 of 1,509) of these patients had antibodies with neutralizing activity in vitro. Patients treated with concomitant immunosuppressants (MTX) had a lower rate of antibody development than patients not taking immunosuppressants at baseline. Patients treated with concomitant immunosuppressant therapy (MTX) in RA-I, RA-II, RA-III had a lower rate of neutralizing antibody formation overall than patients treated with CIMZIA monotherapy in RA-IV (2% vs. 8%). Both the loading dose of 400 mg every other week at Weeks 0, 2 and 4 and concomitant use of MTX were associated with reduced immunogenicity.
Antibody formation was associated with lowered drug plasma concentration and reduced efficacy. In patients receiving the recommended CIMZIA dosage of 200 mg every other week with concomitant MTX, the ACR20 response was lower among antibody positive patients than among antibody-negative patients (Study RA-I, 48% versus 60%; Study RA-II 35% versus 59%, respectively). In Study RA-III, too few patients developed antibodies to allow for meaningful analysis of ACR20 response by antibody status. In Study RA-IV (monotherapy), the ACR20 response was 33% versus 56%, antibody-positive versus antibody-negative status, respectively. [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. No association was seen between antibody development and the development of adverse events.
The data reflect the percentage of patients whose test results were considered positive for antibodies to certolizumab pegol in an ELISA, and are highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. The observed incidence of antibody (including neutralizing antibody) positivity in an assay is highly dependent on several factors, including assay sensitivity and specificity, assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to certolizumab pegol with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.
The following symptoms that could be compatible with hypersensitivity reactions have been reported rarely following CIMZIA administration to patients: angioedema, dermatitis allergic, dizziness (postural), dyspnea, hot flush, hypotension, injection site reactions, malaise, pyrexia, rash, serum sickness, and (vasovagal) syncope [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of CIMZIA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to estimate reliably their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Vascular disorder: systemic vasculitis has been identified during post-approval use of TNF blockers.
Skin: case of severe skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme, and new or worsening psoriasis (all sub-types including pustular and palmoplantar) have been identified during post-approval use of TNF blockers.
Immune System Disorders: sarcoidosis
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Cimzia (Certolizumab Pegol Injection)
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