Colitis Home > Cimzia

Cimzia is a drug used for the treatment of Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis. By blocking TNF-alpha (a naturally occurring chemical in the body), the medicine can help decrease inflammation and relieve the signs and symptoms of these diseases. It comes in injectable form and is given by your healthcare provider. Potential side effects include joint pain, upper respiratory tract infections, and urinary tract infections.

What Is Cimzia?

Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol) is a prescription medication approved to treat the following conditions in adults:
 
 
(Click Cimzia Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes It?

Cimzia is made UCB, Inc.
 

How Does Cimzia Work?

Cimzia belongs to a group of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. There are different types of TNF, and Cimzia binds preferentially to TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that is involved in inflammation and other immune system functions. TNF-alpha can contribute to a number of inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, and people with such conditions often have high TNF-alpha levels. Blocking TNF-alpha helps to decrease the inflammation and to relieve the signs and symptoms of these diseases.
 
Interestingly, Cimzia is actually a fragment of a human antibody. It is produced in special bacteria that were designed to produce this human antibody fragment. The antibody fragment is then "pegylated," which means it is attached to a polyethylene glycol molecule. This process helps Cimzia stay in the body longer (so it can be taken less often).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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