Cimzia: what is it and what are the diseases treated by medication?

Chronic diseases, in general, are conditions that persist for long periods and have no cure. They affect people progressively and prevent the body from functioning properly, which, in general, affects the quality of life of patients.

Many of them have no clearly known cause or mechanism, as is the case with chronic inflammatory diseases. Precisely for this reason, treatment is generally difficult, as there are few resources that demonstrate effective results.

However, little by little, new drugs are discovered and, thus, bring other perspectives to the people affected.

This is the case of Cimzia, approved by ANVISA and by regulatory bodies in other countries, indicated for the treatment of some inflammatory diseases. Know more about the medicine!

What is Cimzia UCB?

Cimzia is an injectable, biological medicine, indicated for the treatment of Crohn’s disease , rheumatoid arthritis , psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis, according to the package insert. The active substance in the medicine is Certolizumab Pegol, which is a human antibody fragment.

It is distributed by Meizler UCB, a biopharmaceutical that operates in about 40 countries and that also works with other medicines.

The drug is part of the class of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists. That is, substances capable of inhibiting or decreasing the release of TNF signaling molecules, whose main biological effect is the immune and inflammatory response.

In healthy organisms, when there is an infection or external stimuli that threaten the organism, TNF is produced, activating the expression of inflammatory genes. This allows the body to defend itself and eliminate invaders.

However, when there are diseases that involve inflammatory conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis, TNF markers are elevated, indicating the alteration of the immune system without threats to the organism.

In these cases, the use of medications, such as Cimzia – the antagonist drugs of TFN -, which inhibit the binding of TNF with its receptors, have shown good effects in the control of diseases.

Cimzia must be applied subcutaneously, that is, below the skin. Each syringe contains 1mL of the solution, consisting of 200mg / mL of certolizumab pegol.

Instructions for use: what is Cimzia for?

According to the package insert, Cimzia can be used to treat Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis, which are all chronic inflammatory conditions. See more about each one and how the drug helps in the treatment:

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. It can affect any part, from the mouth to the anus, but it is predominant in the lower part of the small intestine (ileum) and large intestine (colon).

It is a chronic condition and it is not yet known exactly what the causes are. There is also no cure, and it is necessary to resort to diets and medications that help to reduce inflammation and control symptoms, which include diarrhea , colic and loss of appetite.

Cimzia, for patients with Crohn’s disease, is used to reduce symptoms and is also indicated for people with moderate to severe active disease who have not responded to conventional treatments.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects one or several joints.

Triggering causes are not known and the most common symptoms are pain, swelling, heat and redness in the affected joints, especially in the hands and wrists. There is also stiffness during the morning, fatigue and degeneration of the articular cartilage.

Although less common to occur, other organs and tissues can be affected as well, such as the liver, eyes, heart, skin and lungs.

The Cimzia package insert indicates that the drug associated with methotrexate (MTX) can be used in the treatment of active, moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults, when other medications have had no effect.

People with sensitivity to MTX, or inadequate use, may be advised to undergo monotherapy (use of Cimzia alone).

In addition, in severe, active and progressive rheumatoid arthritis in adults who have not been previously treated with other medications, use is also indicated.

Its action occurs by reducing the progression of joint injuries, remembering that it does not heal or recover the cartilage.

Psoriasis arthritis

The Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease. It causes lesions and reddish plaques that itch, hurt and peel. When this condition also affects the joints, it is called psoriatic arthritis or psoriatic arthritis.

This leads to the common symptoms and problems of arthritis, which is a painful inflammation in the joints of the body.

According to the package leaflet, in combination with methotrexate, Cimzia is indicated to treat this condition in adult people who have undergone therapy with other rheumatic disease modifying drugs (DMARD), but who have not received good responses.

Cimzia can also be used as monotherapy if there is intolerance or an inability to combine methotrexate.

Espondiloartrite axial  (EAax)

Axial spondyloarthritis is a condition that affects the axial region of the body, which includes the spine, pelvis and hip. The disease is chronic and has no cure. It causes inflammation in the joints and regions of the ligaments and tendons, but in the beginning it cannot be detected by X-ray examination .

Thus, in this phase, it is called non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (EAax-nr). It can cause pain and stiffness in the spine, fever , fatigue, anemia and weight loss.

Progressively, the symptoms may worsen and spread to the hips, thighs and even the heel.

When damage can be seen by exams, it is called ankylosing spondylitis (AE).

According to the package insert, Cimzia is indicated for adult people with active, severe ankylosing spondylitis (AE) who cannot use other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or have not obtained good responses.

According to the package insert, people with axial spondyloarthritis without severe active radiographic evidence, who show signs of inflammation with the C-reactive protein ( CRP ) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam , and also had inadequate responses or sensitivity to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (AINES), the use of Cimzia is indicated.

How to apply the Cimzia injection?

Cimzia is a medicine that should only be applied after training and guidance by health professionals. It is a subcutaneous injection, that is, injected under the skin, without reaching the musculature.

Possible places of application are the thighs or the abdomen. The medicine should be stored at temperatures between 2ºC and 8ºC, without freezing, and before application it is necessary to leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes and, in no way, can it be heated in any other way.

If there is medical authorization and training, the person can self-apply or ask someone to help. The application is simple and, after hand and site hygiene, just remove the syringe cap.

Make a small skin fold and pierce the skin at an angle of 45º (syringe slightly tilted). After the entire needle has penetrated the skin, inject the solution and carefully remove the needle.

Remember to keep the skin fold during application, releasing it only after the needle is completely removed.

All other information or specifics of the application should be clarified with doctors (as) responsible for the treatment. Guidelines are also included in the package insert.

What are the side effects of Cimzia?

Adverse effects can occur with the use of any medication, including Cimzia. According to the package insert, common side effects include infections by bacteria and viruses, flu, changes in blood cell rates (such as decreased lymphocytes or neutrophils), headache , nausea, vomiting, hepatitis, skin rash, fever, tiredness and itching in the skin.

Less common, but still possible to occur, are fungal infections, sepsis , tumors in some places (such as stomach and intestines), anemia, thrombocytosis, lupus erythematosus, allergic reactions and psoriasis.

Changes in appetite, weight and mood, falls or increase in blood pressure, asthma , bloating, dry mouth and throat and changes in the menstrual cycle are also reported.

Cimzia engorda?

In the package insert, it is said that the use of the drug can cause changes in weight, despite being an unusual adverse effect. In addition, changes in appetite are also reported, which may contribute to changes in the balance.

However, any effect or symptom that occurs after the start of treatment should be discussed with the professional who accompanies the condition, discussing the best alternatives.

What is the price of Cimzia 200mg?

The drug can be found in packages and values ​​* of:

  • Cimzia 200mg / mL, box with 2 syringes filled with 1mL of solution for subcutaneous use : about R $ 2,299 to R $ 2,810;
  • Cimzia 200mg / mL, box with 2 syringes filled with 1mL of solution for subcutaneous use + 2 wipes : about R $ 8,320 to R $ 8,320;
  • Cimzia 200mg / mL, box with 6 syringes filled with 1mL of solution for subcutaneous use + 6 tissues : about R $ 8,320 to R $ 8,320.

* Prices consulted in November 2019. Prices may change.

It is also possible to file a judicial request for the acquisition by the State. For this, it is necessary to organize a list of documents, with the report and medical prescription, together with the budget of 3 pharmacies that indicate the cost of the medicine.

To facilitate this process, patients can count on the personalized heart advisory service on high-cost medicines , from the Consulta Remédios group.

Simply fill out the form, simply and quickly, to receive the quote.

What is the Always on Front Program?

Semper em Frente is a UCB biopharmaceutical program, which aims to assist and assist people who use Cimzia. Patients can register on the portal and count on multidisciplinary assistance, support materials for the treated disease, information on Cimzia, as well as explanations on how to apply it, adverse effects and other important issues to the routine.

The registration has no fees or charges and, at any time, people can change or delete the registered data. All information can be obtained from the doctor who prescribed the medication and also from the Semper em Frente portal .

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Cimzia is an option for patients suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis.

Carrying out medical follow-up and following treatment correctly are the best ways to control the symptoms of these diseases. Although there is no cure, they are lessened and people’s quality of life can be restored.

The use of Cimzia has shown good results in the routine of people diagnosed with these conditions. Always talk to your doctor and follow the Healthy Minute for more information about treatments and quality of life!

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