Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Golimumab gets the nod

Golimumab, (which will be called Simponi), another anti-TNF biologic drug (like Humira, Remicade and Embrel) has gotten FDA approval for use in psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. I wrote about this drug a few weeks ago - it's not a silver bullet, but provides another treatment option for those of us with autoimmune arthritis, and hey, any options are great.

What is cool about this drug is that it is a once a month injection, as opposed to Remicade's infusion every 6 weeks, or the every other week Humira. When I was first presented with the bouquet of biologic options by my rheumatologist and dermatologist, a lot of our decision making process in choosing a drug had to do with lifestyle and preferences. Humira you can manage at home, but you have to be a tough nut and able to give yourself a shot (I make my husband do it). Remicade means every 6 weeks you sit in a big comfy chair for 2 1/2 hours with an IV drip in the doctor's office - which means finding time in your schedule for this field trip. I do wonder if Simponi, which is just a shot every month, might be the easiest option - all things being equal.

It will be interesting to see how Simponi is marketed over the next year - Humira has been so present on the airwaves and in magazines lately... I wonder if Simponi will follow suit. Advertising is good - it increases awareness of these diseases in general.

On a personal note - I start Remicade next week. I hate infusions, which is why I chose Humira in the first place. But it will be a relief to get all the drugs out of my refrigerator - I don't need the reminder of my disease every time I reach for the milk - the pain in my hands as I grab the carton is enough.


  1. Good luck with the Ramicade next week, hope it gives you the relief that you never got from Humira. I'll keep everything crossed (well what will!!)for you.
    I had surgery 4wk ago (unrelated to my PsA - but off course it affects everything!!!), so looking forward to catching up on your blogs now I am up and running again. I am also looking forward to next week myself, because I have my first injection of Humira after my 6wk break.

  2. Hey Flo - thanks for the warm wishes! I'm a little nervous, to tell the truth...

    How did it go for you when you were off the Humira? I do wonder how long these drugs stay in our systems... I'll be off Humira for 3 weeks when I start the Remicade.

    Stay well... glad your surgery is behind you...


  3. I can understand the nerves, I've been worried with every change of medication (had some not pleasant experiences over the years), but think if you've been fine on one biologic drug chances are you'll be fine on another (although only had 1 myself).
    I've been really good off Humira this time but I did have a depot of steroids (for my chest inflammation not my joints - but they benefit too) a week before my surgery, which made a big difference compared to previous experiences. Even post op it only took me a couple of days to get moving again, it's taken me much longer before when I've not had steroids. Usually if I've stopped my Humira for whatever reason, I am usually feeling it after two weeks (I take it weekly though), and I am keen to get back on it (even though I hate injecting myself). Have you noticed any difference without your Humira? Hope the Remicade soon kicks in and works it's wonders for you.