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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I receive certolizumab (Cimzia)?
You should not receive this medication if you have active but untreated tuberculosis. Tell your doctor if you have ever had tuberculosis, if anyone in your household has tuberculosis, or if you have recently traveled to an area where tuberculosis is common.
However, people with autoimmune disorders (including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis) may have a higher risk of lymphoma. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk.
To make sure you can safely use certolizumab, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether certolizumab passes into breast milk. Before you receive certolizumab, tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is certolizumab given (Cimzia)?
Before you start treatment with certolizumab, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have tuberculosis or other infections.
Some infections are more likely to occur in certain areas of the world. Tell your doctor where you live and where you have recently traveled or plan to travel to during treatment.
Certolizumab is given as two injections under the skin of your stomach or thigh.
This medication is usually given every 2 to 4 weeks.
Certolizumab can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with certolizumab. Contact your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, cough, sweating, tired feeling, or if you feel short of breath.
Use certolizumab regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using certolizumab.
This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using certolizumab.
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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