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Cimzia®

Cimzia is a TNF blocker used to treat inflammation in Crohn’s disease, where the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed thus negatively affecting the digestion. Cimzia is also used to prevent or reduce inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, by blocking TNF and preventing or reducing the destruction of joints. The first TNF inhibitors were approved in 1998 by the FDA, and in April 2008 the FDA approved Cimzia.

The TNF blockers under investigation in addition to Cimzia are:

  • Remicade (infliximab)
  • Humira (adalimumab)
  • Enbrel (etanercept)
  • Cimzia (certolizumab pegol)

The FDA has launched an investigation into the link between Cimzia and cancer, as well as the risk of developing life-threatening infections. 30 cases of cancer in children who took Cimzia were reported from 1998 to 2008.

Adverse Cimzia® Side Effects

Side effects of Cimzia include:

  • Headache
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Reaction at injection site
  • Myalgia
  • Diarrhea
  • Other forms of cancer
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Lymphoma
  • Death

Patients who are taking Cimzia are at an increased risk of the more serious side effects that can lead to hospitalization or death. Because Cimzia affects the immune system, the body’s ability to fight infection can be significantly lower. Cimzia may lead to lymphomas as well as other cancers.

Cimzia® Studies and the FDA

The FDA requires a Black Box Label Warning on Cimzia, which is the strongest warning label a drug can have applied to it. Drugs that carry a high risk of serious side effects or potentially deadly adverse reactions have this warning. This label is given only after medical studies have indicated that there are serious risks associated with the side effects of the medication.

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