Remicade (Infliximab)


Your doctor has decided you may benefit from a medication called Remicade.  The generic name for this product is Infliximab and it is in a class of new medications known as "biologics" because in many ways they aren't what we define as a "drug".  This biologic is designed to regulate the uncontrolled immune injury being caused by your conditions.  What do you need to know about Remicade?



Antirheumatic, Disease Modifying
Gastrointestinal Agent, Miscellaneous
Monoclonal Antibody
Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Blocking Agent

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

Tuberculosis has been activated in patients started on infliximab. These patients were exposed to tuberculosis sometime in the past, but never actually developed the infection. You should be tested to see if you have been exposed to tuberculosis before starting infliximab.


  bullet If you have an allergy to infliximab or any other part of this medicine.

  bullet If you are allergic to mouse proteins, talk with healthcare provider.

  bullet Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

  bullet If you have a severely weakened heart.

  bullet If you are breast-feeding.

What is this medicine used for?

  bullet This medicine is used to decrease drainage from holes in the gastrointestinal tract called fistulas. Initial response may be seen in 2 weeks.

  bullet This medicine is used with methotrexate to prevent further damage in patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.

  bullet This medicine is used to treat Crohn's disease. It may take 1 month to see the full effect.

How does it work?

  bullet Infliximab is an arthritis-changing medicine. It reduces inflammation and helps reduce symptoms and protect joints from further harm.

  bullet It reduces gastrointestinal inflammation and helps reduce symptoms.

How is it best taken?

  bullet This medicine is given as a shot into a vein over a 2-hour period.

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)

  bullet Call healthcare provider for instructions.

What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  bullet Long-term use may increase your risk of cancer.

  bullet Serious infections have been reported with use of this medicine. If you have any infection, are taking antibiotics now or in the recent past, or have many infections, talk with healthcare provider.

  bullet Be careful about taking vaccinations while you are receiving this medicine.

  bullet If you have heart disease, talk with healthcare provider.

  bullet If you have multiple sclerosis or other nerve disease, talk with healthcare provider.

  bullet Tell dentists, surgeons, and other healthcare providers that you use this medicine.

  bullet Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.

  bullet Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.

What are some possible side effects of this medicine?

  bullet Risk of infection. Avoid people with infections, colds, or flu.

  bullet Fever, chills, itching, hives, chest pain or pressure, or shortness of breath during infusion.

  bullet Headache.

  bullet Belly pain.

  bullet Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

  bullet Diarrhea.

  bullet Cough.

  bullet In fistula patients, an abscess can rarely occur.

What should I monitor?

  bullet Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

  bullet You will need a tuberculosis test before starting this medicine.


  bullet If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center immediately or dial 911.

  bullet Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

  bullet Signs or symptoms of infection. These include a fever of 100.5 degrees or higher, chills, severe sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, increased sputum or change in color, painful urination, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.

  bullet Signs of arthritis, fever, weight loss, chest pain or pressure, or shortness of breath if taking this medicine for Crohn's disease.

  bullet Swelling of legs or belly.

  bullet Significant weight gain.

  bullet Severe muscle pain or weakness.

  bullet Any rash.

  bullet No improvement in condition or feeling worse.

How should I store this medicine?

  bullet This medicine will be given to you in a healthcare setting. You will not store it at home.


  bullet If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

  bullet Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

  bullet Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

  bullet Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

  bullet Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.