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SIMPONI(TM) (golimumab) Receives Positive Opinion From CHMP for Once-Monthly Subcutaneous Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis
Date:6/26/2009

A patient who requires surgery while on SIMPONI should be closely monitored for infections, and appropriate actions should be taken.

The possibility exists for TNF-blocking agents, including SIMPONI, to affect host defenses against infections and malignancies. Treatment with SIMPONI may result in the formation of auto-antibodies and, rarely, in the development of a lupus-like syndrome.

There have been postmarketing reports of pancytopenia, leukopenia, neutropenia, aplastic anemia, and thrombocytopenia in patients receiving TNF blockers. Cytopenias including pancytopenia, have been infrequently reported with SIMPONI in clinical trials. Discontinuation of SIMPONI should be considered in patients with significant hematologic abnormalities.

The concurrent administration of TNF-antagonists with anakinra or abatacept is not recommended. Concurrent administration has been associated with increased infections, including serious infections without increased clinical benefit.

Patients treated with SIMPONI may receive concurrent vaccinations, except for live vaccines. Non-serious allergic reactions associated with SIMPONI occurred in clinical trials, and included urticaria, bronchospasm, and hypersensitivity. If an anaphylactic reaction or other serious allergic reactions occur, administration of SIMPONI should be discontinued immediately and appropriate therapy initiated.

The needle cover on the syringe in the pre-filled pen is manufactured from dry natural rubber containing latex, and may cause allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to latex. SIMPONI also contains sorbitol; patients with rare hereditary problems of fructose intolerance should not take SIMPONI.

Women of childbearing potential must use adequate contraception to prevent pregnancy and continue its use for at least 6 months after the last SIMPONI treatment.

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SOURCE Schering-Plough Corporation; Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.
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