Remicade (Infliximab) is a biologic response modifier. It works in the immune system to block a protein called TNF (tumor necrosis factor). Blocking TNF relieves symptoms and prevents disease progression.
Type of medication
› Biological response modifier
Used for (click to learn more)
› Acute lymphoid leukemia Acute myeloid leukemia Breast cancer Burkitt's lymphoma Chronic lymphoid leukemia Chronic myeloid leukemia Hodgkin's disease
› Remicade (Infliximab) can increase your risk of serious or life-threatening bacterial, fungal and viral infections. In some cases infections can be reactivated from an inactive virus in your body like tuberculosis (TB) or hepatitis B virus (HBV). You may need to take medicine for TB before you can begin taking Remicade (Infliximab). If you develop symptoms of cough, fever, chills, muscle aches, feel very tired, or you notice dark urine, yellowing of skin/eyes, appetite/weight loss, vomiting, change in stool color, stomach discomfort, and skin rash, tell your doctor and get medical care right away.
› Although rare, Remicade (Infliximab) can cause serious liver injury. You'll need to have your liver enzymes tested regularly. If liver enzymes are significantly elevated and you have appetite/weight loss, stomach discomfort, vomiting, and notice dark urine, yellowing of skin/eyes, change in stool color, and skin rash you should stop treatment with Remicade (Infliximab) until you can be completely assessed,
Upsides and benefits
› Treats certain types of arthritis and gastrointestinal conditions caused by an overactive immune system.
› Remicade has almost two decades of clinical trial data and real-life experience with millions of people who have used it.
› Initial dosing to introduce Remicade to your body might be a hassle, but then you only need to take it every 6-8 weeks depending on your condition.
Downsides and risks
› You have to get every dose through an IV infusion at your doctor's office.
› It's expensive because there's no generic available yet.
› Remicade has a higher risk of serious infusion-related side effects during or after it's given since it's injected right into your veins. Your doctor can prescribe medication before your dose that may lower this risk.
› Remicade lowers your ability to fight infection and can cause serious life-threatening illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, have an active infection, diabetes, or had tuberculosis (TB) in the past.
› Not the best choice if you have heart failure.
› Talk to your baby's doctor if you're pregnant or breast-feeding. When women in a study took Remicade (Infliximab), the medicine was found in their breast milk 2 to 3 days after each dose, and in the baby's blood 6 months after they were born.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
› Remicade (Infliximab) is a medication that's given as an infusion at your doctor's office or clinic.
› It's very important to read the patient Medication Guide when you first start using Remicade (Infliximab).
› It's possible to get an allergic reaction to Remicade (Infliximab) either immediately during the treatment or a several days after stopping it. Your doctor can give you medicines that'll lower this risk.
› You'll need to have a TB test before you start taking Remicade (Infliximab) and periodically during treatment.
› Remicade (Infliximab) lowers your immune system's ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you notice a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms. Children seem to get more infections than adults, so keep a close eye on them.
› If you have a young child, let their doctor know if you were on Remicade (Infliximab) while pregnant or nursing. It can increase their risk of infections for several months after your last dose and can delay their vaccine schedule.