Simponi, like Remicade, is a TNF blocker. It reduces the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and ulcerative colitis. Sometimes it is used with another drug called methotrexate.
Simponi may increase the risk of developing lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the liver, spleen and bone marrow. It may also lower blood cells that help the body fight infections, weakening the immune system. Serious and at times fatal infections may occur, involving symptoms such as fever, chills, or sore throat.
The FDA has found that Simponi can leave the body susceptible to other diseases, as it weakens the immune system when inhibiting TNF. It has noted severe fungal development that may sometimes go undiagnosed in patients, which can lead to severe illness, and at times, death. An FDA alert noted that the drug may cause and disguise fungus infections until they have reached a point where treatment is ineffective. In 2009 a firm called Centocor joined with the FDA on a Medwatch alert about Simponi’s adverse effects.