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infliximab

Pronunciation: in FLIX ih mab

Brand: Remicade

What is the most important information I should know about infliximab?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to infliximab, or if you are also being treated with anakinra (Kineret) or abatacept (Orencia).

Multum emt

Some people using infliximab 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 teenagers and young adults using infliximab or similar medicines to treat Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, night sweats, itching, loss of appetite, weight loss, tiredness, feeling full after eating only a small amount, pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your shoulder, nausea, easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Multum emt

Infliximab can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with infliximab. Contact your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, chills, flu symptoms, or pain, warmth, or redness of your skin.

Before you receive infliximab, tell your doctor if you have heart failure or other heart problems, an active or recent infection, diabetes, liver disease, seizures, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a history of cancer, a weak immune system, numbness or tingling, a nerve or muscle disorder, or if you have recently received a vaccine.

Before you start treatment with infliximab, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have tuberculosis 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.

Multum donot

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with infliximab.

What is infliximab?

Infliximab reduces the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation.

Infliximab is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and ankylosing spondylitis. Infliximab is also used to treat severe or disabling plaque psoriasis (raised, silvery flaking of the skin).

Infliximab is often used when other medicines have not been effective.

Infliximab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using infliximab?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to infliximab, or if you are also being treated with anakinra (Kineret) or abatacept (Orencia).

Multum emt

Some people using infliximab 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 teenagers and young adults using infliximab or similar 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.

Before using infliximab, 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 tuberculosis is common.

To make sure you can safely take infliximab, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • severe heart failure, or other heart problems;
  • an active or recent infection, open sores or skin wounds;
  • diabetes;
  • 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.

FDA pregnancy category B. It is not known whether infliximab will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether infliximab passes into breast milk. You should not breast-feed while you are receiving infliximab.

Multum nochild

Infliximab is not for use in children younger than 6 years old.

How should I use infliximab?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Multum donot

Before you start treatment with infliximab, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have tuberculosis 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.

Infliximab is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. This medicine is usually given at intervals of 2 to 8 weeks.

Infliximab must be injected slowly, over about 2 hours. Your doctor may wish to observe you after the injection to make sure the medicine has not caused any serious side effects.

Multum emt

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using infliximab.

Multum emt

Infliximab can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with infliximab. Contact your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, chills, flu symptoms, or pain, warmth, or redness of your skin.

If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms during treatment with infliximab or after you stop using the medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using infliximab. Visit your doctor regularly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your infliximab injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using infliximab?

Multum donot

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using infliximab. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

Make sure your child is current on all vaccines before he or she starts treatment with infliximab.

What are the possible side effects of infliximab?

Multum emt

Some people receiving an infliximab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). 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, flu symptoms, 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.

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum donot

Stop using infliximab and call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms of lymphoma:

  • fever, night sweats, weight loss, tiredness;
  • feeling full after eating only a small amount;
  • pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your shoulder;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate; or
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:

  • signs of infection (fever, chills, flu symptoms, confusion, or pain, warmth, or redness of your skin);
  • chest pain, ongoing cough, coughing up mucus or blood;
  • shortness of breath with swelling of your ankles or feet, rapid weight gain;
  • numbness or tingling;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, unusual weakness;
  • weak feeling in your arms or legs;
  • problems with vision;
  • neck stiffness, seizure (convulsions);
  • pain or burning when you urinate; or
  • red, purple, or scaly skin rash, hair loss, joint or muscle pain, mouth sores.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • stuffy nose, sinus pain, headache;
  • mild stomach pain;
  • mild skin rash; or
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).

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.

What other drugs will affect infliximab?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • azathioprine (Imuran);
  • mercaptopurine (Purinethol); or
  • medications and phototherapy for psoriasis.

There may be other drugs that can interact with infliximab. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about infliximab.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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