Cimzia Side Effects

Cimzia (certolizumab) reduces the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation.

Cimzia is used to treat the symptoms of Crohn’s disease after other drugs have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms. Cimzia is also used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults.

You should not receive Cimzia 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.

Some people using Cimzia have developed a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma (cancer). This condition affects the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, and it can be fatal. This has occurred mainly in teenagers and young adults using Cimzia or similar medicines to treat Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

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 Cimzia is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • an active or recent infection;
  • signs of infection such as fever, cough, or flu symptoms;
  • open sores or skin wounds;
  • lupus;
  • HIV or AIDS;
  • hepatitis B (or if you are a carrier of the virus);
  • a history of cancer (especially skin cancer);
  • epilepsy or seizure disorder;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • numbness or tingling, or a disease that affects your nerves or muscles (such as multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barre syndrome); or
  • if you are scheduled to receive any vaccines, or have recently been vaccinated with BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin).

FDA pregnancy category B. Cimzia is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Cimzia: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms of lymphoma:

  • chest pain, cough, feeling short of breath;
  • swelling in your neck, underarm, or groin (this swelling may come and go);
  • fever, night sweats, itching, weight loss, feeling tired;
  • feeling full after eating only a small amount; or
  • pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your back or shoulder.

Stop using Cimzia and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • signs of infection (fever, chills, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, flu symptoms);
  • swelling of your ankles or feet;
  • fast or slow heart rate;
  • pain or burning when you urinate;
  • confusion, neck stiffness, seizure (convulsions);
  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • vision problems, dizziness, numbness or tingly feeling, muscle weakness in your arms or legs;
  • joint pain or swelling with fever, muscle aches, nausea, unusual thoughts or behavior, and/or seizure (convulsions); or
  • patchy skin color, red spots, or a butterfly-shaped skin rash over your cheeks and nose (worsens in sunlight).

Other common Cimzia side effects may include:

  • stuffy nose, sinus pain;
  • stomach pain, mild diarrhea, constipation; or
  • pain, redness, itching, swelling, or bleeding where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.