The information in this section is for patients who have been prescribed Simponi. UK Healthcare Professionals and members of the public should follow these links:

Healthcare Professionals Public
This website is intended for UK patients prescribed Simponi

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions about the use of Simponi. Additional information is provided in the patient information leaflets provided with your medication and are available to download from the links on the right.

Click on a question to reveal the answer:
  • Will the injection hurt?
    A:

    The needle used for injection is very short and thin, which should help to make injections as painless as possible.

    Some people who use self-injected medications may experience a little bleeding, soreness or redness at the site after injecting. This should ease, however, as you become more comfortable injecting yourself the more times you do it, and as you learn to relax you might find that it becomes easier and less painful than when you started.

  • How quickly will the medicine work?
    A:

    Patients have been shown to begin noticing the effects of Simponi at around 4-6 weeks following the initial dose (please refer to the Summary of Product Characteristics). You’re likely to be aware of less pain, swelling and stiffness.

  • Can I use other medications?
    A:

    Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are now using, or have recently used, other medications – including non-prescription drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements. It's extremely important to tell your doctor if you're taking Kineret® (anakinra) or Orencia® (abatacept), because these drugs should not be used with Simponi. Also, be sure your doctor knows if you're taking other medications that affect your immune system.

    For Rhematoid Arthritis, Simponi has been designed, and licensed, to be taken with methotrexate (MTX). For Psoriatic Arthritis Simponi can be taken alone or together with MTX, whereas for Ankylosing Spondylitis Simponi must be taken alone.

  • What about vaccinations?
    A:

    Check with your doctor if you plan to be vaccinated, as some vaccines are not advised if you're taking Simponi. If you've had a recent vaccination or have one scheduled, tell your doctor.

  • Why was I tested for tuberculosis (TB)?
    A:

    Simponi can decrease your immune system's capability, so you may be more susceptible to infections. You must be tested for tuberculosis (TB) before you take Simponi.

    If you've ever had TB or have been in contact with someone who has had or has TB, be sure to tell your doctor. Signs of TB include a persistent dry or unproductive cough, weight loss, fatigue (feeling tired), fever and night sweats. If any of these or any other signs of infection appear while taking Simponi, tell your doctor immediately.

  • What about allergic reactions?
    A:

    Simponi contains sorbitol (E420) as an inactive ingredient and a part of the pre-filled pen contains latex. If you are allergic to sugars or to latex, please talk to your doctor or nurse before starting treatment.

  • What if I’ve injected more medicine than I should?
    A:

    If you’ve injected more frequently than you should, let the doctor or pharmacist know right away. Take the outer carton of the packet with you when you go to your appointment as this will help them determine what, if any, action that needs to be taken.

  • What if I forget to inject myself?
    A:

    Firstly, inject the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. Do not use a double dose to make up for the one you forgot. Then, if the injection is less than 2 weeks late, inject the next dose according to your usual monthly schedule. If the injection is more than 2 weeks late, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to ask when you need to take the next dose. If you are not sure what to do, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

  • What do I do if I accidentally drop the pen or syringe?
    A:

    DO NOT use the SmartJect pen if it is dropped without the cap in place. If you do drop it accidentally, click here to contact Simply for me® for assistance.

    DO NOT use the syringe if it is dropped without the needle cover in place. If you do, click here to contact Simply for me® for assistance.

  • What should I do if I've forgotten to keep my medicine cool?
    A:

    Never use your medicine if you have forgotten to store it in the fridge, if it appears cloudy or discoloured (it should be colourless to light yellow), or if it has been exposed to extreme temperatures (e.g., frozen or heated). In these situations, contact your doctor or pharmacist or click here to contact the Simply for me® helpline.

    Remember that your medicine must always be kept in the fridge (not the freezer). Before injecting, remove the pre-filled pen or syringe from the fridge and from its outer carton and allow it to sit for 30 minutes so that it can reach room temperature. Do not warm it up in any other way.

  • What if my pen doesn't work or I'm not sure if I've injected properly?
    A:

    If you are not sure whether your pre-filled pen is working correctly, or whether or not you have injected properly, contact your doctor or pharmacist or click here to contact Simply for me®.

  • How do I dispose of used pens and syringes?
    A:

    It is preferable to use a “sharps bin” to discard your used pens and syringes immediately after injecting. Never throw away pens and syringes with your household waste.

  • Are there side effects?
    A:

    As with all medications, side effects may occur in some people. Although most of these are usually mild and manageable, in some instances they can be more serious and require prompt attention from your doctor. The most common side effects include injection site reactions, respiratory infections, runny nose, sore throat, rash, nausea, dizziness, fever, cold sores, and numbness or tingling. You’ll find further information in the Patient Information Leaflet provided with your medicine. Always tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or doesn’t go away. TNF-blocking treatment can make you more susceptible to infections, so tell your doctor immediately if you develop any signs or symptoms of an infection.

    Your Patient Alert Card contains important safety information and should be read and carried with you.

  • What happens when I go on holiday?
    A:

    If your injection date occurs when you’re away, ensure your Simponi is kept at the right temperature (between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius) while travelling.

    You can coordinate delivery of your treatment to fit with your holiday plans whenever necessary. Please refer to the Travelling with Simponi section of this website.

  • What if I am pregnant?
    A:

    Tell your doctor if you think you are pregnant before starting treatment or during treatment if you are planning to become pregnant. The effects of this medicine in pregnant women are not known and so its use in pregnant women is not recommended. If you are being treated with Simponi, you should use adequate contraception during your treatment and for at least 6 months after the last Simponi injection to avoid becoming pregnant.

    If you received Simponi during your pregnancy, your baby may have a higher risk of getting an infection. It is important that you tell your baby’s doctors and other health care professionals about your Simponi use before the baby receives any vaccine (for more information see section on vaccination).

  • What if I am breastfeeding?
    A:

    You should stop breastfeeding if you are to be given Simponi. Tell your doctor if you are a (potential) nursing mother, as treatment should be stopped for at least 6 months before you start to breastfeed.

  • Can I drive or use machinery while being treated?
    A:

    Your medicine may have a minor influence on your ability to drive and use tools or machines. Dizziness may occur after you self-inject; if this happens, do not drive or use any tools or machines.

  • Can I take the medicine with meals?
    A:

    Yes, your medicine can be taken with or without food or drink.

  • Can I drink alcohol?
    A:

    The effects of drinking alcohol while taking your medication are unknown. Please refer to your doctor for general advice on alcohol consumption.

Reporting side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.

By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.