CIMZIA, HUMIRA, REMICADE and SIMPONI (ANTI-TNFs IN IBD)
Cimzia, Humira, Remicade and Simponi are the 4 biologic medicines known as anti-TNFs. They work in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They also have an effect in arthritis and certain skin conditions, like psoriasis.
TNF (tumor necrosis factor) is a chemical made by some blood and tissue cells (monocytes and macrophages) that plays a major role in inflammation. When the body's immune system reacts, TNF is one of the first responders. It triggers a number of other reactions, that together create the inflammation seen in IBD and other auto-immune disorders.
Anti-TNFs then are a class of drugs that block TNF from triggering their effects on the immune system.
Anti-TNFs, as a class, have many similar effects and side effects. But because Cimzia, Humira, Remicade and Simponi are not identical, there are differences, particularly in how they are given and in what diseases they treat most effectively. Additionally, medications that are similar (called, biosimilar) to these medicines in the way they are given and in their effect on IBD and other autoimmune diseases are becoming available.
|Medicine||How given in IBD – maintenance*||IBD Indication|
|Cimzia||Shot every 4 weeks||Crohn's in adults|
|Humira||Shot every 1-2 weeks||Crohn's in adults and |
UC in adults
|Remicade||IV every 4-8 weeks||Crohn's in adults and |
UC in adults and
|Simponi||Shot every 4-8 weeks||UC in adults|
*start up phase is also different for each of these medicines
IV = intravenous / UC = ulcerative colitis
Beginning treatment with an anti-TNF
The start-up phase for each of these medicines is different that their on-going use.
This article, as well as all others, was reviewed and edited by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.
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