Like the Crohn's medications infliximab and adalumimab, Cimzia works by inhibiting a protein produced by your immune system known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF). TNF plays an important role in causing inflammation and complications of Crohn's disease.
When you first start taking Cimzia, you get one injection every two weeks. After three injections — if your doctor determines it's working for you — you receive just one injection a month.
Cimzia is effective in reducing the signs and symptoms of Crohn's, but it also carries risks. The most common side effects when taking Cimzia are headaches, upper respiratory infections, abdominal pain, injection site reactions and nausea. Like other medications that inhibit TNF, Cimzia affects your immune system and puts you at increased risk of becoming seriously ill with certain infections, such as tuberculosis. If you get an infection due to Cimzia, you'll have to stop taking the drug right away.