Infliximab (Injection)

Introduction

Infliximab (in-FLIX-i-mab)

Treats rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's disease, plaque psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Remicade

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You or your child should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to infliximab or murine (mouse) proteins. In some cases, you should not receive this medicine if you have a history of heart failure.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
  • This medicine needs to be given slowly. The needle will need to remain in place for at least 2 hours.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using anakinra (Kineret®), azathioprine (Imuran®), etanercept (Enbrel®), or methotrexate (Folex®, Rheumatrex®). Tell your doctor if you have received infliximab before. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using, including nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines and herbal products.
  • Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you or your child have liver disease, heart problems, a bleeding disorder, an active infection or an infection that keeps coming back, diabetes, eye or visual problems, or a weakened immune system. Tell your doctor if you or your child have a history of seizures, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, or a similar nervous system disease. Make sure your doctor knows if you have lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD), a history of cancer, hepatitis B infection, or psoriasis, or if you have recently received a vaccine.
  • This medicine may cause an infusion reaction while you are receiving it or right after the infusion ends. Check with your doctor or nurse right away if you or your child have chest pain; a fever; chills; itching; hives; a rash; dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness; a headache; joint pain; difficulty with swallowing; shortness of breath; troubled breathing; or swelling of the face, tongue, and throat.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur during treatment with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms while receiving this medicine: blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; chills; cough; diarrhea; fever; itching; joint or muscle pain; red skin lesions; sore throat; sores, ulcers, or white spots in your mouth or lips; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • This medicine may increase your chance of having a lupus-like syndrome or a liver disease called autoimmune hepatitis. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have dark brown-colored urine, fever or chills; a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or weakness; joint pain; light-colored stools; nausea and vomiting; a rash on the cheeks or arms that is worse in the sun; severe tiredness; upper right-sided stomach pain; or yellow eyes and skin.
  • You will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis before you start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis skin test.
  • A small number of people (including children and teenagers) who have used this medicine have developed certain types of cancer. This is more common among patients who have lung diseases or are heavy smokers, and in psoriasis patients who have had phototherapy treatment for a long time. Some patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis also developed a rare type of cancer called lymphoma. Talk with your doctor if you or your child have unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness; swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, or groin; or unexplained weight loss. Also, check with your doctor right away if your skin has red, scaly patches, or raised bumps that are filled with pus.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Call your doctor right away if you or your child start having signs of an infection, such as a persistent cough, fever, chills, weight loss, night sweats, shortness of breath, unusual tiredness or weakness, or flu-like symptoms (runny or stuffy nose, headache, or feeling generally ill). Tell your doctor if you or your child have been exposed to chickenpox or any other virus.
  • It is important to have your heart checked closely if you receive infliximab. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, swelling in the ankles and feet, or a sudden weight gain.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Bone pain.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Cold or flu symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, chills, or body aches.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, or muscle cramps.
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Joint pain or swelling.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf).
  • Pain when urinating, or dark-colored urine or pale stools.
  • Raised bumps on the skin filled with pus.
  • Red or black stools.
  • Red, scaly patches on the skin.
  • Severe confusion, or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Stiff neck or seizures.
  • Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, or groin.
  • Trouble with breathing or swallowing.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Cough that does not go away.
  • Diarrhea, stomach pain or upset.
  • Mild headache.
  • Mild muscle or joint pain.
  • Mild skin rash or itching.
  • Redness, pain, or swelling where the needle is placed.
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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