Calms down your immune system. Remicade (Infliximab) is very effective at calming down your immune system, but you have to get each dose at your doctor's office and watch out for serious side effects.
Treats moderate to severe psoriasis. Stelara (Ustekinumab) works for two psoriatic conditions. It may be somewhat of a hassle because of the injection, but after the first two doses, you only need to take it every 12 weeks.
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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.
Stelara (Ustekinumab) is a biologic response modifier, or biologic. It blocks two immune system proteins called IL-12 and IL-23. This slows down new skin cell formation, and lowers inflammation for people with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
› There are certain medicines that interact with Stelara (Ustekinumab) or will need the dose adjusted, especially if they are "narrow" therapy medicines like warfarin,
› 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,
No weight related info.
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.
› Stelara (Ustekinumab) works throughout your whole body (systemic therapy) and may be better than just applying medicine to your skin (local therapy) for moderate or severe plaque psoriasis that covers large areas or many areas of your body.
› It's used alone or together with another medicine called methotrexate for better results to treat active psoriatic arthritis.
› Initial dosing might be a hassle, but then you only have to take it every 12 weeks.
› People treated with Stelara (Ustekinumab) for psoriatic arthritis felt better and had more physical improvement compared to not using the medicine (placebo).
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.
› It's an injection.
› Stelara (Ustekinumab) 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.
› You have to get your first dose of Stelara (Ustekinumab) at your doctor's office. If you decide not to self-inject and don't have someone to do it for you, you'll need to continue to see your doctor for each dose.
› You'll need to properly dispose of the needle and syringes in a special (FDA-approved) sharps container.
› Because Stelara (Ustekinumab) needs to be refrigerated until you use it, if you're traveling, you'll need to carry it in a cooler with an ice pack.
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.
› Stelara (Ustekinumab) is an immunosuppressant medication that's injected under the skin (subcutaneous).
› Your doctor will give your first dose then let you self-inject once you learn how to do it correctly.
› It's very important you read the Medication Guide especially if you're giving yourself injections.
› Usual dosing to build up the medicine in your body is a starting dose, then 4 weeks, then 12 weeks. Maintenance dosing is every 12 weeks.
› You'll need to have a TB test before you start injecting Stelara (Ustekinumab).
› Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to latex. The prefilled syringe needle cover contains a latex product.
› Don't use/inject if the medicine contains any particles or is discolored.
› Rotate your injection areas using front of the thigh, outer area of upper arms or lower part of your belly (not around belly button). Don't inject into skin that's red, bruised or irritated.
› Stelara (Ustekinumab) can increase your risk of common infections, reactivate infections hidden in your body, and in some people, cause rare infections.
› Serious and life-threatening nervous system and allergic reactions can happen immediately, days or months after starting Stelara (Ustekinumab). Stelara (Ustekinumab) can increase your risk of certain skin cancer.
› Dispose of used syringes in a protective (Sharps) container. DON'T throw in the trash.
› Don't get any live vaccines while you're taking Stelara (Ustekinumab). If you need to get a vaccine, ask your doctor first.