The Infusion of Remicade® is a treatment option for patients who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, who have not responded to other drug therapies. The drug is also used to treat various joint disorders as well as psoriasis.
With inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) your immune system becomes overactive and produces excess amounts of a protein called TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor alpha). TNF-alpha causes your immune system to attack healthy cells in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Remicade blocks the action of TNF-alpha preventing inflammation.
After the initial three starter doses, Remicade only requires as few as six treatments a year, meaning you will receive Remicade once every eight weeks.
Remicade works differently than other medications by targeting a specific protein in the body’s immune system which helps control inflammation. Remicade can reduce signs and symptoms, induce and maintain remission, promote intestinal healing and reduce or stop the need for steroids. People who take Remicade for their IBD symptoms usually experience a period of remission, an inactive time in the disease process.
Pediatric Crohn’s Disease
Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis
Only your doctor can recommend a course of treatment after checking your health condition. REMICADE® (infliximab) can cause serious side effects such as lowering your ability to fight infections. Some patients, especially those 65 years and older, have had serious infections which include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body or caused infections in certain areas (such as skin). Some of these infections have been fatal. Your doctor should monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with REMICADE®.
Unusual cancers have been reported in children and teenage patients taking tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker medicines. Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of fatal lymphoma, has occurred mostly in male teenagers or young men with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis who were taking REMICADE® and azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including REMICADE®, the chances of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. You should discuss any concerns about your health and medical care with your doctor.
It is not known if REMICADE® is safe and effective in children under 6 years of age.
Remicade is given by intravenous (IV) infusion. Dosage depends on how severe your ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease is as well as your weight. Your doctor will calculate the dose that is right for you. The nurse will prep your arm by sterilizing the area with rubbing alcohol. The IV needle will be inserted and held in place with tape. Remicade will be infused into your bloodstream. Vital signs will be monitored every 30 minutes during the infusion. During infusion, you’ll be carefully monitored by a nurse or other healthcare provider. This process usually takes about two hours.
The Remicade infusion process does not require sedation, so you should be able to resume your daily activities after treatment. After removing the IV from your arm, you may continue to be monitored after your infusion to make sure you’re not having a reaction to the medication.
You should let your doctor know if you have or ever had any of the following: