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FDA Approves New Use for Arthritis Drug: Treating Ulcerative Colitis


The FDA approved a new use for Simponi (golimumab) injection to treat adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. Simponi works by blocking tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which plays an important role in causing abnormal inflammatory and immune responses. Previously approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis affecting the joints in the spine and the pelvis), Simponi is now approved to treat adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis that is resistant to prior treatment or requires continuous steroid therapy.

 

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that affects about 620,000 Americans. It causes inflammation and ulcers in the inner lining of the large intestine and is one of two main forms of chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The inflammation can lead to abdominal discomfort, gastrointestinal bleeding, production of pus, and diarrhea.

 

“Simponi is an important new treatment option for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis,” said Andrew E. Mulberg, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Inborn Errors Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “It is critical that patients suffering from the serious and painful symptoms of ulcerative colitis have additional treatment options since patients experience the effects of the disease and respond to treatments differently.”

 

The most common side effects in patients treated with Simponi are upper respiratory infection and redness at the site of injection. Patients treated with Simponi are at increased risk of developing serious infections, invasive fungal infections, reactivation of Hepatitis B infection, lymphoma, heart failure, nervous system disorders, and allergic reactions.

See the FDA Announcement

 

 

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