What is Remicade® (infliximab) used for?
Remicade® reduces the effects of substances in the body that can cause inflammation.
Remicade® is also used to treat severe or disabling plaque psoriasis.
This medicine is often used when other medicines have not been effective.
How should I take Remicade® (infliximab)?
Remicade® is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be watched closely after receiving your dose, to make sure the medicine has not caused any serious side effects.
Before you start treatment with Remicade®, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have tuberculosis (TB) or other infections. Some infections are more likely to occur in certain areas of the world. Tell your doctor where you live and where you have recently traveled or plan to travel to during treatment.
Remicade® can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often, and you may need frequent TB tests.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Remicade®.
If you have ever had hepatitis B, Remicade® can cause this condition to come back or get worse. You will need frequent blood tests to check your liver function during treatment and for several months after you stop using this medicine.
How do I store Remicade® (infliximab)?
Remicade® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Remicade® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Remicade® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Remicade® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Remicade® (infliximab)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Remicade® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had tuberculosis, if anyone in your household has tuberculosis, or if you have recently traveled to an area where certain infections are common (e.g. Ohio River Valley, Mississippi River Valley, and the Southwest).
To make sure Remicade® is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- Severe heart failure, or other heart problems
- An active or recent infection, fever, cough, flu symptoms, open sores or skin wounds
- Liver disease (especially hepatitis B)
- A history of seizures
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- A history of cancer
- A weak immune system
- Numbness or tingling anywhere in your body
- A disease that affects the nerves or muscles, such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome
- If you have recently been vaccinated with BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guérin)
- If you are scheduled to receive any vaccines
Make sure your child is current on all vaccines before he or she starts treatment with Remicade®.
Some people using Remicade® have developed a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma (cancer). This condition affects the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, and it can be fatal. This has occurred mainly in male teenagers and young men using Remicade® with other medicines to treat Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
However, people with autoimmune disorders (including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis) may have a higher risk of lymphoma. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk.
Using Remicade® may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, including skin cancer. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you use this medicine while you are pregnant, make sure any doctor caring for your new baby knows that you used the medicine during pregnancy. Being exposed to Remicade® in the womb could affect your baby’s vaccination schedule during the first 6 months of life.
It is not known whether infliximab passes into breast milk. You should not breast-feed while you are receiving Remicade®.
Remicade® is not for use in children younger than 6 years old.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Remicade® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Remicade®. Remicade® is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Remicade® (infliximab)?
Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, itchy or tingly, swollen, short of breath, or have a headache, fever, chills, muscle or joint pain, pain or tightness in your throat, chest pain, or trouble swallowing during the injection. Infusion reactions may also occur within 1 or 2 hours after injection.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Remicade®: hives; chest pain, difficult breathing; fever, chills, severe dizziness; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with Remicade®. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, extreme tiredness, flu symptoms, cough, or skin symptoms (pain, warmth, or redness).
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- Skin changes, new growths on the skin
- Pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding
- Delayed allergic reaction (up to 12 days after receiving infliximab) – fever, sore throat, trouble swallowing, headache, joint or muscle pain, skin rash, or swelling in your face or hands
- Liver problems – upper stomach pain, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Lupus-like syndrome – joint pain or swelling, chest discomfort, feeling short of breath, skin rash on your cheeks or arms (worsens in sunlight)
- Nerve problems – numbness or tingling, problems with vision, or weak feeling in your arms or legs
- New or worsening psoriasis – skin redness or scaly patches, raised bumps filled with pus
- Signs of heart failure – shortness of breath with swelling of your ankles or feet, rapid weight gain
- Signs of lymphoma – fever, night sweats, weight loss, stomach pain or swelling, chest pain, cough, trouble breathing, swollen glands (in your neck, armpits, or groin)
- Signs of tuberculosis – fever, cough, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, feeling constantly tired
Common side effects may include:
- Stuffy nose, sinus pain
- Sore throat, cough
- Stomach pain
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Remicade® (infliximab)?
Remicade® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products that may interact with this drug are:
- Abatacept (Orencia)
- Anakinra (Kineret)
- Tocilizumab (Actemra)
- Any “biologic” medications to treat your condition – adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, natalizumab, rituximab, and others
- Phototherapy for psoriasis
- Any other medicines to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, or psoriasis
Does food or alcohol interact with Remicade® (infliximab)?
Remicade® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Remicade® (infliximab)?
Remicade® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Remicade® (infliximab).
What is the dose of Remicade® (infliximab) for an adult?
The recommended dose is 5 mg/kg given as an intravenous induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks followed by a maintenance regimen of 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks thereafter for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease or fistulizing Crohn’s disease.
For adult patients who respond and then lose their response, consideration may be given to treatment with 10 mg/kg. Patients who do not respond by Week 14 are unlikely to respond with continued dosing and consideration should be given to discontinue Remicade® in these patients.
The recommended dose of Remicade® is 5 mg/kg given as an intravenous induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks followed by a maintenance regimen of 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks thereafter for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.
The recommended dose of Remicade® is 3 mg/kg given as an intravenous induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks followed by a maintenance regimen of 3 mg/kg every 8 weeks thereafter for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis.
Remicade® should be given in combination with methotrexate. For patients who have an incomplete response, consideration may be given to adjusting the dose up to 10 mg/kg or treating as often as every 4 weeks bearing in mind that risk of serious infections is increased at higher doses.
The recommended dose of Remicade® is 5 mg/kg given as an intravenous induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks followed by a maintenance regimen of 5 mg/kg every 6 weeks thereafter for the treatment of active ankylosing spondylitis.
The recommended dose of Remicade® 5 mg/kg given as an intravenous induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks followed by a maintenance regimen of 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks thereafter for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. Remicade® can be used with or without methotrexate.
The recommended dose of Remicade® is 5 mg/kg given as an intravenous induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks followed by a maintenance regimen of 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks thereafter for the treatment of chronic severe (i.e., extensive and/or disabling) plaque psoriasis.
What is the dose of Remicade® (infliximab) for a child?
Pediatric Crohn’s Disease
The recommended dose of Remicade® for pediatric patients 6 years and older with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease is 5 mg/kg given as an intravenous induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks followed by a maintenance regimen of 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks.
Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis
The recommended dose of Remicade® for pediatric patients 6 years and older with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis is 5 mg/kg given as an intravenous induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks followed by a maintenance regimen of 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks.
How is Remicade® (infliximab) available?
Remicade® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Injection, powder, lyophilized, for solution: infliximab, license holder unspecified 100mg in 10mL
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Remicade®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 25, 2017 | Last Modified: August 25, 2017