Remicade: Medical Uses and Drug Facts
- The Generic Name is: infliximab
- The Brand Name is: Remicade
Inflammation causing substances’ effects are reduced by the use of Remicade. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and ankylosing spondylitis. Severe or disabling plaque psoriasis can also be treated using Remicade. Inflammation of uveitis, psoriasis, and for sarcoidosis that is not responding to traditional therapies many a times have responded to this medicine.
Infliximab is an antibody, administered to block the effects of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha). It works by blocking the action of TNF- alpha, thereby reducing the signs and symptoms of inflammation.
The drug is usually administered intravenously.
- For moderate to severe Crohn’s disease
- 5mg/kg given as a single dose.
- For fistulizing Crohn’s disease
- 5mg/kg followed by additional doses of same potency at the intervals of two and six weeks post first dose.
- For Rheumatoid arthritis
- 3mg/kg as a single dose, followed by 3mg/kg dose at two and six weeks after the first dose, followed by a maintenance dose of 3mg/kg every eight weeks.
Remicade should be taken as prescribed by the doctor, in the same amounts and for the exact duration as mentioned by the doctor. Any alterations in the prescription should be done only under medical supervision and not otherwise.
In case a Remicade dose is missed, then call the practitioner immediately for instructions and in case of overdose, call Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Refrigerate at 2- 8˚C (36- 46˚F)
- “Live” vaccines like measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine should be avoided during the treatment of Remicade, as these vaccines may either lower or diminish the drug effects.
- Tuberculosis and other diseases should be ruled out with lab tests before starting this medicine. In case any trips have happened or are planned, the same should be discussed with the doctor, as some infections are area specific.
- Remicade should be injected into a vein, through an IV over about a period of 2 hours and the patient should be kept under observation to monitor the side effects of the drug, if any.
- Remicade is known to lower the infection fighting blood cells in the body; hence distance should be maintained from sick people. Also activities involving the risk of a bleeding injury should be avoided, coupled with regular blood tests.
- A practitioner should be consulted in the advent of :
- Liver symptoms, if Remicade was either stopped or taken post or during the treatment of Hepatitis B.
- Signs of infection such as: fever, chills, flu symptoms, or pain, warmth, or redness of your skin.
- Use of infliximab amongst pregnant women has not been evaluated adequately, so the effect of medicine on this population is still unknown.
- Secretion of infliximab in breast milk is unknown, hence its potential on nursing babies cannot be commented upon.