INFLIXIMAB (Remicade): Patient Information
How does it work?
Infliximab is an arthritis-changing medicine. It reduces inflammation and helps reduce symptoms and protect joints from further harm. It is used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and other types of arthritis.
How is it best taken?
This medicine is given by intravenous infusion.
What do you need to do while taken this medication?
Reasons to call your doctor immediately:
- If you suspect an overdose, call your emergency department immediately.
- Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs or symptoms of infection. These include a fever, chills, severe sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, increased sputum or change in color, painful urination, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Any rash.
What are some possible side effects of this medicine?
- Upper respiratory tract infections (such as sinusitis).
- Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
- Infusion reactions may happen during or after the infusion.
- Infliximab can cause a drop in the numbers of white blood cells (which are needed to fight infection) or red blood cells (which carry oxygen).
- There have been serious infections associated with the use of Infliximab. Any infections or fevers should be taken very seriously and reviewed by your doctor.
- There have been rare reports of some patients developing disorders that affect the nervous system while taking Infliximab.
- Inform your doctor if you have congestive heart failure as this drug may make it worse.
- When used for long periods of time, Infliximab may be associated with a small increased risk of lymphoma.
Do I need to have regular blood tests while taking Infliximab?
Blood tests are not routinely required while you are taking this medication.
Is Infliximab safe in pregnancy?
- Infliximab is a new medication and it is unknown if it is safe to use in pregnancy. Therefore, you should AVOID PREGNANCY while on Infliximab.
- All women of child bearing potential taking Infliximab must use reliable contraception.
- You should not breast feed while taking Infliximab.
What is the usual dose of Infliximab?
- The normal starting dose is typically 3-5 mg/kg that is based on your body weight.
- Methotrexate is commonly used in combination with Infliximab, which improvesyour response to the medication.
Who should NOT take Infliximab?
- Patients who have had a previous serious allergic reaction to Infliximab.
- Possibly patients who have cancer or have had a past history of certain cancers.
- Patients who have severe or uncontrolled congestive heart failure.
- Patients who have multiple sclerosis.
- Patients with active infections (such as tuberculosis).
What should I AVOID while taking Infliximab?
- You should discuss all vaccinations with your doctor, as some vaccines are not advisable while you are taking Adalimumab.
- If you are scheduled for surgery, please tell your doctor.
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