The Infusion Of REMICADE®

infusion services

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.

What Are the Outcomes of Remicade Infusion?

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.

Crohn’s Disease

  • Can reduce signs and symptoms and induce and maintain remission in adult patients with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease who haven’t responded well to other therapies

Pediatric Crohn’s Disease

  • Can reduce signs and symptoms and induce and maintain remission in children (ages 6-17) with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease who haven’t responded well to other therapies

Ulcerative Colitis

  • Can reduce signs and symptoms, induce and maintain remission, promote intestinal healing, and reduce or stop the need for steroids in adult patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who haven’t responded well to other therapies

Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis

  • Can reduce signs and symptoms and induce and maintain remission in children (ages 6-17) with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who haven’t responded well to other therapies

Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Can reduce signs and symptoms, help stop further joint damage, and improve physical function in adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, in combination with methotrexate

Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Can reduce signs and symptoms of active arthritis, help stop further joint damage, and improve physical function in adult patients with psoriatic arthritis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Can reduce signs and symptoms in adult patients with active ankylosing spondylitis

Plaque Psoriasis

  • Approved for the treatment of adult patients with chronic severe (extensive and/or disabling) plaque psoriasis under the care of a physician who will determine if REMICADE® is appropriate considering other available therapies

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.

What Happens During Remicade Infusion?

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.

What Happens After a Remicade Infusion?

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.

What should I tell my doctor before I take REMICADE®?

You should let your doctor know if you have or ever had any of the following:

  • Tuberculosis (TB) or have been near someone who has TB. Your doctor will check you for TB with a skin test. If you have latent (inactive) TB, you will begin TB treatment before you start REMICADE®.
  • Lived in a region where certain fungal infections like histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis are common.
  • Infections that keep coming back, have diabetes or an immune system problem.
  • Any type of cancer or a risk factor for developing cancer, for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or had phototherapy for psoriasis.
  • Heart failure or any heart condition. Many people with heart failure should not take REMICADE®.
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection or think you may be a carrier of HBV. Your doctor will test you for HBV.
  • Nervous system disorders (like multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome).

Also tell your doctor if you:

  • Use the medicines Kineret (anakinra), Orencia (abatacept) or Actemra (tocilizumab) or other medicines called biologics used to treat the same problems as REMICADE®.
  • Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are breast-feeding or plan to breastfeed, or have a baby and were using REMICADE® during your pregnancy. Tell your baby’s doctor about your REMICADE® use. If your baby receives a live vaccine within 6 months after birth, your baby may develop infections with serious complications that can lead to death.
  • Recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. Adults and children taking REMICADE® should not receive live vaccines or treatment with a weakened bacteria (such as BCG for bladder cancer) while taking REMICADE®.