(HealthDay)—Simponi (golimumab) injection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis.

The drug is designed to block , which has a key role in causing abnormal inflammation and , the FDA said Wednesday in a news release.

The drug has already been approved to treat psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and , the agency said.

Ulcerative colitis, affecting some 620,000 Americans, causes chronic inflammation and ulcers in the inner lining of the large intestine. Common symptoms include abdominal discomfort, gastrointestinal bleeding and diarrhea.

Simponi was clinically evaluated in two studies involving more than 800 people. The most common side effects reported were upper respiratory infection and redness at the injection site. People treated with the drug are at greater-than-average risk of contracting several types of infection, lymphoma, heart failure, nervous system disorders and allergic reactions, the FDA said.

The drug is marketed by Janssen Ortho Biotech Inc., based in Horsham, Pa.

More information: Medline Plus has more about ulcerative colitis.