Calms down your immune system. Remicade (infliximab) is an effective treatment for many autoimmune diseases, but you can have 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.
Remicade (infliximab) blocks a protein in your immune system called TNF (tumor necrosis factor) that causes inflammation.
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 hurt your liver. If you have appetite/weight loss, stomach discomfort, vomiting, or dark urine, talk to your doctor. If you have yellowing of skin/eyes, talk to your doctor right away.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
› People taking Remicade (infliximab) for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions had more clinical response, clinical remission and symptom improvement compared to people who did not take Remicade (infliximab).
› People who were also taking steroids for treatment were able to discontinue steroid use while taking Remicade (infliximab).
› Remicade (infliximab) has almost two decades of clinical trial data and real-life experience with many people who have used it.
› After the initial dosing, you only need to take Remicade (infliximab) every 6-8 weeks, depending on your condition.
› Compared to other medications used to treat autoimmune conditions, Remicade (infliximab) has not been associated with as many harmful effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
› 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 receive this medication at your doctor's office or clinic. You might need to be tested regularly for tuberculosis.
› Remicade (infliximab) lowers your ability to fight infection and can cause serious illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, or have a history of diabetes or tuberculosis.
› Remicade (infliximab) can in some cases worsen symptoms of heart failure or neurologic conditions. People 65 years and older may have more side effects from this medication.
› In rare cases, Remicade (infliximab) has been associated with cancers in children and adolescents.
› No generic available, so it can be costly.
› 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) can in some cases cause a serious allergic reaction either immediately or several days after the treatment. Your doctor can give you medicines that will lower this risk.
› Your doctor will test you for tuberculosis before taking Remicade (infliximab) and regularly 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.
› You should not receive any live vaccines while taking Remicade (infliximab). Tell your doctor that you are taking Remicade (infliximab) before receiving any vaccines.
› If you have any signs or new or worsening symptoms such as heart, neurological, or autoimmune conditions, talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor about symptoms such as bruising or bleeding.
› 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.