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These medicines stop a protein that increases inflammation in the body. They block the inflammatory response that happens in ankylosing spondylitis. They are given as a shot. Infliximab is given as a shot in a vein (intravenous, or IV). Adalimumab, etanercept, and golimumab are given as a shot under the skin (subcutaneous).
Biologics are used to treat pain and inflammation in people who have active ankylosing spondylitis. They are usually used after other medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been tried.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Warnings have been issued about the serious side effects of biologics. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the drug’s manufacturers have warned about:
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
- Van der Linden S, et al. (2005). Ankylosing spondylitis. In ED Harris Jr et al., eds., Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 7th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1125–1140. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders.
- Golimumab (Simponi) for inflammatory arthritis (2009). Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, 51(1316): 55–56.
Last Revised: April 8, 2012
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.