Certolizumab Pegol

Pronunciation: (SER-toe-LIZ-oo-mab PEG-ol)Class: Immunomodulator

Trade Names:Cimzia- Injection, lyophilized powder for solution 200 mg- Injection, solution 200 mg/mL


Neutralizes membrane-associated and soluble human tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in a dose-dependent manner.



T max is between 54 and 171 h postinjection. Bioavailability is approximately 80%. Mean C max is approximately 43 to 49 mcg/mL.


Vd is approximately 6 to 8 L.


Terminal elimination half-life is approximately 14 days. Cl is approximately 17 to 21 mL/h.

Special Populations

Renal Function Impairment

Studies have not been performed.

Indications and Usage

Reduce signs and symptoms of Crohn disease and maintain clinical response in adult patients with moderately to severely active disease who have not responded adequately to conventional therapy; treatment of adults with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis.


Standard considerations.

Dosage and Administration

Crohn DiseaseAdults

Subcutaneous 400 mg, given as 2 injections of 200 mg initially and at weeks 2 and 4. In patients obtaining a clinical response, the recommended maintenance dosage is 400 mg every 4 wk.

Rheumatoid ArthritisAdults

Subcutaneous 400 mg, given as 2 injections of 200 mg initially and at weeks 2 and 4, followed by 200 mg every other week. For maintenance dosing, 400 mg every 4 weeks may be considered.

General Advice

  • To facilitate dissolution, bring to room temperature before reconstitution.
  • Reconstitute each vial of certolizumab with 1 mL of sterile water for injection using a syringe with a 20-gauge needle. Gently swirl vial without shaking so that all the lyophilized powder comes into contact with the sterile water for injection.
  • Leave vials undisturbed for as long as 30 min to fully reconstitute the drug.
  • Visually inspect solution prior to administration. Do not administer if cloudy or particulate matter is present.
  • Using a new 20-gauge needle for each vial, withdraw the reconstituted solution into a separate syringe for each vial. Switch each 20-gauge needle to a 23-gauge needle and inject the full contents of each syringe subcutaneously into separate sites in the abdomen or thigh.
  • Rotate injection sites and do not administer into areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard.


Store in refrigerator at 36° to 46°F. Do not freeze. Do not leave reconstituted product at room temperature for more than 2 h prior to administration. Once reconstituted, vials may be stored for up to 24 h at 36° to 46°F prior to injection. Do not freeze.

Drug Interactions

Abatacept, anakinra, natalizumab, rituximab

Risk of serious infections and neutropenia may be increased.

Live vaccines

Do not coadminister with certolizumab.

Laboratory Test Interactions

May cause erroneously elevated aPTT assay results in patients without coagulation abnormalities. This effect has also been observed with the PTT-LA test from Diagnostic stago and the HemosIL APTT-SP liquid and HemosIL lyophilized silica tests from Instrumentation Laboratories.

Adverse Reactions


Hypertension (5%); anginal pectoris, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiac failure, hypertensive heart disease, MI, myocardial ischemia, pericardial effusion, pericarditis, stroke, thrombophlebitis, transient ischemic attack, vasculitis.


Headache (5%); fatigue (3%); anxiety, bipolar disorder, suicide attempt.


Rash (3%); alopecia; dermatitis; erythema nodosum; urticaria; erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis (postmarketing).


Optic neuritis, retinal hemorrhage, uveitis.


UTI (7%); menstrual disorder, nephrotic syndrome, renal failure.


Anemia, bleeding, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia, thrombophilia.


Elevated liver enzymes, hepatitis.


Antibodies to certolizumab (8%); angioedema.

Lab Tests

Positive antinuclear antibody titers (4%).


Injection-site reactions.


Upper respiratory tract infection (20%); nasopharyngitis (5%); acute bronchitis, pharyngitis (3%).


Infection (38%); arthralgia (6%); back pain (4%); pyrexia (3%).




Serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis (TB) (frequently disseminated or extrapulmonary), invasive fungal infections, and bacterial, viral, and other opportunistic infections, may occur. Evaluate patients for TB risk factors and test for latent TB infection prior to starting and during treatment. Initiate treatment of latent TB infection prior to starting therapy. Discontinue therapy if a patient develops a serious infection or sepsis.


Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of active TB, including patients who tested negative for latent TB infection. Evaluate patients at risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection for prior evidence of HBV infection before starting therapy. Closely monitor HBV carriers for clinical and laboratory signs of active HBV infection throughout therapy and for several months after discontinuing treatment. Monitor CHF patients carefully.


Category B .




Safety and efficacy not established.


Because there is a higher incidence of infection in elderly patients, use with caution.


Angioedema, dermatitis allergic, dizziness (postural), dyspnea, hot flush, hypotension, injection-site reactions, malaria, pyrexia, rash, serum sickness, syncope (vasovagal), and urticaria have been reported.


Formation of autoantibodies and, rarely, a lupus-like syndrome may occur.


Worsening and new-onset CHF have been reported with TNF blockers.

Hematologic effects

Rare cases of cytopenia, including leukopenia, pancytopenia (including aplastic anemia), and thrombocytopenia, have been reported.


Risk of reactivation of HBV in chronic carriers of this virus may be increased. Use with caution in patients identified as HBV carriers.


Host defenses against infections and malignancies may be affected.


More cases of malignancies have been observed among patients receiving TNF blockers compared with control patients. Patients with Crohn disease requiring chronic exposure to immunosuppressant therapy may be at increased risk for developing lymphoma, even in the absence of TNF-blocker therapy.

Neurologic effects

Rare cases of new onset or exacerbation of clinical symptoms and/or radiographic evidence of demyelinating disease have been reported. Rare cases of neurological disorders, including seizures, optic neuritis, and peripheral neuropathy, have been reported.



Doses of up to 800 mg subcutaneous and 20 mg/kg IV have been administered without serious adverse reactions.

Patient Information

  • Advise patient to review Medication Guide before starting therapy and to review it periodically.
  • Instruct patients to seek immediate medical attention if they experience any symptom of severe allergic reaction.
  • Advise patients to promptly report any signs of new or worsening medical conditions such as heart disease, neurologic disease, autoimmune disorders, or symptoms of cytopenia (including bruising, bleeding, or persistent fever) to health care provider.
  • Instruct patients to contact health care provider if they develop any symptoms of infection, including TB and reactivation of HBV infection.
  • Counsel patients about the possible risk of lymphoma and other malignancies while receiving treatment.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.