Generic Name: infliximab (in FLIX ih mab)
Brand Names: Inflectra, Remicade
What is Remicade?
Remicade (infliximab) 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.
You should not use Remicade if you are allergic to infliximab, or if you are also being treated with anakinra (Kineret) or abatacept (Orencia).
Before you start treatment with this medicine, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have tuberculosis or other infections.
Using Remicade may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma that can be fatal. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.
Remicade can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as fever, tiredness, flu symptoms, cough, or skin pain.
Before taking this medicine
You should not be treated with Remicade if you are allergic to infliximab.
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);
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
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-Barre syndrome;
if you have recently been vaccinated with BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guérin); or
if you are scheduled to receive any vaccines.
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 (Ohio River Valley, Mississippi River Valley, and the Southwest).
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.
It is not known whether Remicade will harm an unborn baby. 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.
How is Remicade given?
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.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Remicade injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while receiving Remicade?
Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using Remicade, or you could develop a serious infection. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Make sure your child is current on all vaccines before he or she starts treatment with Remicade.
Remicade side effects
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 - nausea, upper stomach pain, tiredness, joint pain, 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); or
signs of tuberculosis - fever, cough, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, feeling constantly tired.
Common Remicade side effects may include:
stuffy nose, sinus pain;
sore throat, cough
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Remicade?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
any "biologic" medications to treat your condition - adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, natalizumab, rituximab, and others;
phototherapy for psoriasis; or
any other medicines to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, or psoriasis.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with infliximab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Remicade (infliximab)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Remicade.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Remicade only for the indication prescribed.
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