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Inflectra

Generic name: infliximab-dyyb
Dosage form: intravenous (infusion) injection
Drug class: TNF alfa inhibitors

Medically reviewed by Nicole France, BPharm. Last updated on Jul 4, 2022.

What is Inflectra?

Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb) is a monocloncal antibody used to treat a range of inflammatory autoimmune diseases.

Inflectra is a biological drug and one of four biosimilars of Remicade (infliximab). Biosimilar of Remicade are highly similar to it and are designed to have the same effect, but they are not identical.

Inflectra works in the same way as the other versions of infliximab, by blocking the damage that results from too much tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Inflectra binds to TNF-alpha, which stops it from interacting with its receptors and certain activating processes.

TNF-alpha is a protein and inflammatory cytokine which plays a key role in your normal immune response. It is involved in your inflammatory response and also helps to fight off infection and cancer. Some people, however, produce too much TNF-alpha and this can cause an autoimmune disease to develop.

Inflectra was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016, 18 years after the original version of infliximab was introduced. It was the first biosimilar of Remicade to be approved.

What is Inflectra used for?

Inflectra is a prescription medicine that is approved for patients with:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis - adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, along with the medicine methotrexate.
  • Crohn’s Disease - children 6 years and older and adults with Crohn's disease who have not responded well to other medicines.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis in adults
  • Psoriatic Arthritis in adults
  • Plaque Psoriasis - adult patients with plaque psoriasis that is chronic (does not go away), severe, extensive, and/or disabling.
  • Ulcerative Colitis - children 6 years and older and adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who have not responded well to other medicines.

It is not known if Inflectra is safe and effective in children under 6 years of age.

Important information

Inflectra may cause serious side effects, including:

1. Risk of infection

Inflectra is a medicine that affects your immune system. Inflectra can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Serious infections have happened in patients receiving Inflectra. These infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some patients have died from these infections.

  • Your doctor should test you for TB before starting Inflectra.
  • Your doctor should monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with Inflectra.

Before starting Inflectra, tell your doctor if you:

  • think you have an infection. You should not start receiving Inflectra if you have any kind of infection.
  • are being treated for an infection.
  • have signs of an infection, such as a fever, cough, flu-like symptoms.
  • have any open cuts or sores on your body.
  • get a lot of infections or have infections that keep coming back.
  • have diabetes or an immune system problem. People with these conditions have a higher chance for infections.
  • have TB, or have been in close contact with someone with TB.
  • live or have lived in certain parts of the country (such as the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys) where there is an increased risk for getting certain kinds of fungal infections (histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis). These infections may develop or become more severe if you receive Inflectra. If you do not know if you have lived in an area where histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis is common, ask your doctor.
  • have or have had hepatitis B.
  • use the medicines Kineret (anakinra), Orencia (abatacept), Actemra (tocilizumab), or other medicines called biologics used to treat the same conditions as Inflectra.

After starting Inflectra, if you have an infection, any sign of an infection including a fever, cough, flu-like symptoms, or have open cuts or sores on your body, call your doctor right away. Inflectra can make you more likely to get infections or make any infection that you have worse.

2. Risk of Cancer

  • There have been cases of unusual cancers in children and teenage patients using TNF-blocker medicines, such as Inflectra.
  • For children and adults receiving TNF-blocker medicines, including Inflectra, the chances of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase.
  • Some people receiving TNF-blockers, including Inflectra, developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of cancer often results in death. Most of these people were male teenagers or young men. Also, most people were being treated for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis with a TNF-blocker and another medicine called azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine.
  • People who have been treated for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis for a long time may be more likely to develop lymphoma. This is especially true for people with very active disease.
  • Some people treated with infliximab products, such as Inflectra, have developed certain kinds of skin cancer. If any changes in the appearance of your skin or growths on your skin occur during or after your treatment with Inflectra, tell your doctor.
  • Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a specific type of lung disease, may have an increased risk for getting cancer while being treated with Inflectra.
  • Some women being treated for rheumatoid arthritis with infliximab products have developed cervical cancer. For women receiving Inflectra, including those over 60 years of age, your doctor may recommend that you continue to be regularly screened for cervical cancer.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had any type of cancer. Discuss with your doctor any need to adjust medicines you may be taking.

See the section “What are the possible side effects of Inflectra?” below for more information.

Who should not receive Inflectra?

You should not receive Inflectra if you have:

  • heart failure, unless your doctor has examined you and decided that you are able to receive Inflectra. Talk to your doctor about your heart failure.
  • had an allergic reaction to infliximab products, or any of the other ingredients in Inflectra. See below for a complete list of ingredients in Inflectra.

What should I tell my doctor before receiving Inflectra?

Your doctor will assess your health before each treatment. Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have an infection (see “What is the most important information I should know about Inflectra?” above).
  • have other liver problems including liver failure.
  • have heart failure or other heart conditions. If you have heart failure, it may get worse while you take Inflectra.
  • have or have had any type of cancer.
  • have had phototherapy (treatment with ultraviolet light or sunlight along with a medicine to make your skin sensitive to light) for psoriasis. You may have a higher chance of getting skin cancer while receiving Inflectra.
  • have COPD. Patients with COPD may have an increased risk of getting cancer while receiving Inflectra.
  • have or have had a condition that affects your nervous system such as:
    • multiple sclerosis, or Guillain-Barré syndrome, or
    • if you experience any numbness or tingling, or
    • if you have had a seizure.
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. Adults and children receiving Inflectra should not receive live vaccines (for example, the Bacille Calmette-Guérin [BCG] vaccine) or treatment with a weakened bacteria (such as BCG for bladder cancer). Children should have all of their vaccines brought up to date before starting treatment with Inflectra.

How should I receive Inflectra?

  • You will be given Inflectra through a needle placed in a vein (IV or intravenous infusion) in your arm.
  • Your doctor may decide to give you medicine before starting the Inflectra infusion to prevent or lessen side effects.
  • Only a healthcare professional should prepare the medicine and administer it to you.
  • Inflectra will be given to you over a period of about 2 hours.
  • If you have side effects, the infusion may need to be adjusted or stopped. In addition, your healthcare professional may decide to treat your symptoms.
  • A healthcare professional will monitor you during the infusion and for a period of time afterward for side effects. Your doctor may do certain tests while you are receiving Inflectra to monitor you for side effects and to see how well you respond to the treatment.
  • Your doctor will determine the right dose for you and how often you should receive it. Make sure to discuss with your doctor when you will receive infusions and to come in for all your infusions and follow-up appointments.

What should I avoid while receiving Inflectra?

Do not take Inflectra together with medicines such as Kineret (anakinra), Orencia (abatacept), Actemra (tocilizumab), or other medicines called biologics that are used to treat the same conditions as this medication.

Dosing information

Inflectra is administered by intravenous infusion for at least 2 hours.

  • Crohn’s Disease
    • 5 mg/kg at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks. Some adult patients who initially respond to treatment may benefit from increasing the dose to 10 mg/kg if they later lose their response.
  • Pediatric Crohn’s Disease (≥ 6 years old)
    • 5 mg/kg at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks.
  • Ulcerative Colitis
    • 5 mg/kg at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks.
  • Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis (≥ 6 years old)
    • 5 mg/kg at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • In conjunction with methotrexate, 3 mg/kg at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks. Some patients may benefit from increasing the dose up to 10 mg/kg or treating as often as every 4 weeks.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
    • 5 mg/kg at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 6 weeks.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis and Plaque Psoriasis
    • 5 mg/kg at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks.

What are the side effects of Inflectra?

Serious side effects of Inflectra include:

  • See “What is the most important information I should know about Inflectra?” above.
  • Serious Infections
    • Some patients, especially those 65 years and older have had serious infections while receiving infliximab products, such as Inflectra. These serious infections include TB and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some patients die from these infections. If you get an infection while receiving treatment with Inflectra your doctor will treat your infection and may need to stop your Inflectra treatment.
    • Tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs of an infection while receiving or after receiving Inflectra:
      • a fever
      • feel very tired
      • have a cough
      • have flu-like symptoms
      • warm, red, or painful skin
    • Your doctor will examine you for TB and perform a test to see if you have TB. If your doctor feels that you are at risk for TB, you may be treated with medicine for TB before you begin treatment with Inflectra and during treatment with Inflectra.
    • Even if your TB test is negative, your doctor should carefully monitor you for TB infections while you are receiving Inflectra. Patients who had a negative TB skin test before receiving infliximab products have developed active TB.
    • If you are a chronic carrier of the hepatitis B virus, the virus can become active while you are being treated with Inflectra. In some cases, patients have died as a result of hepatitis B virus being reactivated. Your doctor should do a blood test for hepatitis B virus before you start treatment with Inflectra and occasionally while you are being treated. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
      • feel unwell
      • tiredness (fatigue)
      • poor appetite
      • fever, skin rash, or joint pain
  • Heart Failure
    If you have a heart problem called congestive heart failure, your doctor should check you closely while you are receiving Inflectra. Your congestive heart failure may get worse while you are receiving Inflectra. Be sure to tell your doctor of any new or worse symptoms including:
    • shortness of breath
    • swelling of ankles or feet
    • sudden weight gain
      Treatment with Inflectra may need to be stopped if you get new or worse congestive heart failure.
  • Other Heart Problems
    Some patients have experienced a heart attack (some of which led to death), low blood flow to the heart, or abnormal heart rhythm within 24 hours of beginning their infusion of an infliximab product. Symptoms may include chest discomfort or pain, arm pain, stomach pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea, vomiting, fluttering or pounding in your chest, and/or a fast or a slow heartbeat. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Liver Injury
    Some patients receiving infliximab products have developed serious liver problems. Tell your doctor if you have:
    • jaundice (skin and eyes turning yellow)
    • dark brown-colored urine
    • pain on the right side of your stomach area (right-sided abdominal pain)
    • fever
    • extreme tiredness (severe fatigue)
  • Blood Problems
    In some patients receiving infliximab products, the body may not make enough of the blood cells that help fight infections or help stop bleeding. Tell your doctor if you:
    • have a fever that does not go away
    • bruise or bleed very easily
    • look very pale
  • Nervous System Disorders
    Some patients receiving infliximab products have developed problems with their nervous system. Tell your doctor if you have:
    • changes in your vision
    • numbness or tingling in any part of your body
    • weakness in your arms or legs
    • seizures
      Some patients have experienced a stroke within approximately 24 hours of their infusion with infliximab products. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of a stroke which may include: numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination or a sudden, severe headache.
  • Allergic Reactions
    Some patients have had allergic reactions to infliximab products. Some of these reactions were severe. These reactions can happen while you are getting your Inflectra treatment or shortly afterward. Your doctor may need to stop or pause your treatment with Inflectra and may give you medicines to treat the allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction can include:
    • hives (red, raised, itchy patches of skin)
    • difficulty breathing
    • chest pain
    • high or low blood pressure
    • fever
    • chills
      Some patients treated with infliximab products have had delayed allergic reactions. The delayed reactions occurred 3 to 12 days after receiving treatment with an infliximab product. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of delayed allergic reaction to Inflectra:
      • fever
      • rash
      • headache
      • sore throat
      • muscle or joint pain
      • swelling of the face and hands
      • difficulty swallowing
  • Lupus-like Syndrome
    Some patients have developed symptoms that are like the symptoms of Lupus. If you develop any of the following symptoms, your doctor may decide to stop your treatment with Inflectra.
    • chest discomfort or pain that does not go away
    • shortness of breath
    • joint pain
    • rash on the cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun
  • Psoriasis
    Some people receiving infliximab products had new psoriasis or worsening of psoriasis they already had. Tell your doctor if you develop red scaly patches or raised bumps on the skin that are filled with pus. Your doctor may decide to stop your treatment with Inflectra.

The most common side effects of infliximab products include:

  • respiratory infections, such as sinus infections and sore throat
  • headache
  • coughing
  • stomach pain

Infusion reactions can happen up to 2 hours after your infusion of Inflectra. Symptoms of infusion reactions may include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • chest pain
  • low blood pressure or high blood pressure
  • shortness of breath
  • rash
  • itching

Children with Crohn’s disease showed some differences in side effects of treatment compared with adults with Crohn's disease. The side effects that happened more in children were: anemia (low red blood cells), leukopenia (low white blood cells), flushing (redness or blushing), viral infections, neutropenia (low neutrophils, the white blood cells that fight infection), bone fracture, bacterial infection and allergic reactions of the breathing tract. Among patients who took infliximab for ulcerative colitis in clinical studies, more children had infections as compared with adults.

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

These are not all of the side effects with Inflectra. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA1088.

Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. These include any other medicines to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines and show them to your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Inflectra harms your unborn baby. Inflectra should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed. Talk to your doctor about stopping Inflectra if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

If you have a baby and you were receiving Inflectra during your pregnancy, it is important to tell your baby’s doctor and other health care professionals about your Inflectra use so they can decide when your baby should receive any vaccine. Certain vaccinations can cause infections.

If you received Inflectra while you were pregnant, your baby may be at higher risk for getting an infection. If your baby receives a live vaccine within 6 months after birth, your baby may develop infections with serious complications that can lead to death. This includes live vaccines such as the BCG, rotavirus, or any other live vaccines. For other types of vaccines, talk with your doctor.

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You and your doctor should decide if you should receive Inflectra while breastfeeding.

Storage

Store unopened Inflectra vials in a refrigerator at 2ºC to 8ºC (36ºF to 46ºF).

Do not use Inflectra beyond the expiration date (Exp) located on the carton and the vial. This product contains no preservative.

What are the ingredients in Inflectra?

Active ingredient: infliximab-dyyb.

Inactive ingredients: : dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, monobasic sodium phosphate monohydrate, polysorbate 80, and sucrose. No preservatives are present.

Inflectra is manufactured by Celltrion, Inc. 23, Academy-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, 22014, Republic of Korea and distributed by Pfizer Labs, Division of Pfizer Inc, New York, NY 10017

Popular FAQ

Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb) is a biosimilar to Remicade (infliximab). They belong to the same class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alfa inhibitors. Inflectra can be prescribed for the same uses as Remicade, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis. Continue reading

Renflexis (infliximab-abda) is a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker that is biosimilar to Remicade (infliximab). A biosimilar has no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety and effectiveness from the reference product.

Renflexis is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion similar to Remicade, and is used for the same conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and psoriatic arthritis. Biosimilars may lead to cost-savings due to a lower price and are preferred by some insurance companies. Continue reading

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.