This blog receives a number of “hits” based on a search for Simponi. I have created this page to consolidate/chronicle my experiences with the drug to make it easier for readers to find. You can also do a “search” on my blog which will bring up the various times I’ve written about the drug. In addition to the information and comments here, there are a number of comments on Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy’s site related to this post: http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/2009/10/carlas-corner-all-about-simponi/
I started Simponi on August 12, 2009. I had previously been on Humira which was not working. I haven’t had any real pain associated with the injections. I had a slight bruise at the injection site of my third shot. I haven’t noticed any bad side effects and have generally been pleased with the relief of symptoms from the drug. Unlike Humira, I don’t do any real prep for the injection (ice packs before or after, etc.), but follow the directions to remove the injection from the refrigerator AT LEAST 30 minutes prior. Normally I take it out 45-60 minutes before the injection time.
First Injection August 2009
I had my first injection on August 12, 2009. I took it in the evening and the next morning, felt immediate relief. Unfortunately, the effects only lasted about a week before they started wearing off and after two weeks, I could tell no effects. I used the pre-filled syringe.
Second Injection September 2009
I took the second injection 30 days later in mid-September using the autoinject pen. It took a couple of days for the full effects of the drug to kick in, although I got some immediate relief (within 24 hours). The positive effects lasted for a full three weeks before they started wearing off. At the end of four weeks, the drug had completely worn off.
Third Injection October 2009
I took the third injection 30 days later on October 11, 2009. As of this writing (2 days later), the effects of the drug are apparent and the pain and stiffness is barely noticeable.
Update: It’s now been 10 days after the injection and I’m realizing that I’m not experiencing the relief that I did with the second injection. It’s still tons better than Humira, or no injection at all. It very well may be the extra stress that I’m putting on my body by working out more vigorously, or the rainy cold weather, or other factors that have nothing to do with the Simponi. One troubling aspect is that I’m suffering multiple times a day with what I call the itchy welts that I’ve come to associate with inflammatory response in my body. I’ll get an itch — usually on my hands or arms, but it could be anywhere — and as soon as I scratch my skin will become inflamed with severe itching and welts. I’ll keep you posted.
Update: Two weeks later and the positive effects of Simponi are definitely waning. Not only are my normal aches and pains starting to come back, I’ve noticed pain and swelling in my right wrist and both ankles, as well as increased symptoms in my left knee. This is troubling because I will be going to London next month about 2 weeks after I take my shot. Looks like I need to take a lot of Tylenol with me as well.
Update: Three weeks after the injection, I can’t tell it’s working at all. So it apparently starts wearing off after two weeks and is completely gone after three. At least I hope this is as bad as I feel. I’ve got another week to go before I can take another shot and I don’t want to feel any worse than I already do.
Fourth Injection: November 11, 2009
I took my fourth Simponi shot on November 11. I normally have taken my shots (both Simponi and Humira) before I went to bed. But this time, I took it about 3:00 pm. It was amazing. I could literally feel myself feeling better as the drug took effect. By the end of the evening when I went to bed, I was feeling better than I had in a couple of weeks. The drug really, really works for me, I just wish it would last longer. The next time I see my rheumatologist is the same day my next shot is due, so she will be able to tell how much the drug has worn off by the end of the month.
No More Simponi
On December 9, 2009, my rheumatologist switched me from Simponi to Enbrel. While I was getting amazing results from the drug, they only lasted about a week. Since I will be taking Enbrel on a weekly basis, hopefully this will be the answer for me.
Breaking News – October 19, 2009
Rheumatology Division at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester revealed that the new data demonstrate sustained efficacy of golimumab dosed every four weeks in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or RA who were previously treated with anti-TNF agents.
Findings from the study demonstrated that patients with RA previously treated with adalimumab, etanercept or infliximab responded to, and maintained response to, Simponi through one year.
Over 63% of patients receiving Simponi 50 mg achieved about 20% improvement in arthritis signs and 41% achieved a 50% improvement in arthritis signs and symptoms as measured by ACR 50 response. An ACR 50 response requires a patient to have a 50% reduction in the number of swollen and tender joints.
Simponi-treated patients who had discontinued previous anti-TNF treatment for any reason sustained improvements in physical function. The data also showed that 81% and 61% of patients receiving Simponi 50 mg recorded improvements from baseline in the number of tender and swollen joints, respectively.
In April 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada approved Simponi 50 mg as a once-monthly subcutaneous injection for the treatment of moderately to severely active RA, active psoriatic arthritis and active ankylosing spondylitis. In October 2009, the European Commission approved Simponi as a once-monthly injection for the treatment of active RA, active and progressive PsA and severe, active ankylosing spondylitis.