Generic name: Infliximab
Brand name: Avsola, Inflectra, Remicade, Renflexis
Dosage forms: intravenous powder for injection (100 mg; abda 100 mg; axxq 100 mg; dyyb 100 mg)
Drug class: Antirheumatics, TNF alfa inhibitors
What is Infliximab?
Infliximab is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and plaque psoriasis severe or deformed in adults .
Infliximab also used to treat ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease in adults and children at least 6 years of age. This medication is often used when other drugs do not work.
Infliximab may be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.¶
Using Infliximab may increase the risk of certain types of cancer, including a rare and rapidly growing form of lymphoma that can be fatal. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.
Infliximab affects your immune system. You can easily get sick, even the worst or most deadly diseases. Before you start using this medication, your doctor may perform tests to make sure that you do not have certain infections.
Call your doctor if you have a fever, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, cough, or skin lesions.
Before taking this medicine
You should not be treated with Infliximab if you are sick with it.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had TB or if anyone in your family has TB. Also tell your doctor if you have recently visited. Tuberculosis and other fungal infections are very common in some parts of the world, and they may have been exposed during travel.
Tell your doctor if you have:
- active infections (fever, cough, flu symptoms, open sores or skin sores);
- heart failure or other heart problems;
- weakened immune system;
- liver failure, hepatitis B, or other liver problems;
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
- heart problems;
- numbness or biting anywhere in your body;
- nerve-muscle disorders, such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome;
- phototherapy for psoriasis;
- BCG vaccination (Bacille Calmette-Guérin); or
- if you are scheduled to receive any vaccinations.
Make sure your child is on all immunizations before starting Infliximab treatment.
Infliximab may cause a rare form of lymphoma (cancer) of the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, which can be fatal. This is especially true for young people and young men with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. However, anyone with autoimmune inflammation may have a higher risk of lymphoma. Talk to your doctor about your risks.
Infliximab may cause other types of cancer, such as skin cancer or cervical cancer. Ask your doctor about this risk.
If you are using Infliximab during pregnancy, make sure that any doctor who cares for your new baby knows that you have used the medication during pregnancy. Exposure to this drug in the womb may affect your baby’s immunization schedule during the first 6 months of life.
You should not breastfeed while receiving Infliximab .
Infliximab is not used for children under 6 years of age.
How is Infliximab given?
Before starting treatment with this medication, your doctor may perform tests to make sure that you do not have TB or other infections.
Infliximab is given as an intravenous infusion. Your healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Infliximab infusion should be given lightly, and giving it may take at least 2 hours to complete.
You may be closely monitored after receiving Infliximab , to ensure that the drug did not cause serious side effects.
Infliximab affects your immune system. You can easily get sick, even the worst or most deadly diseases. Your doctor will need to get tested regularly, and you may need regular TB tests.
Serious infections are most likely in adults.
If you need surgery, tell your surgeon early that you are using this medication.
If you have ever had hepatitis B, using this medication, may cause the virus to become active or worse. You may need to check your liver function normally while using this medication and for a few months after quitting.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you are miss the medication.
What happens if I overdose?
Get emergency medical help or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while getting Infliximab ?
Avoid activities that may increase the risk of bleeding.
Do not get a “live” vaccine while using Infliximab , or you may get a serious illness. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), and zoster (shingles).
Side effects of Infliximab
Get emergency medical help if you have symptoms of allergies: hives; chest pain, shortness of breath; fever, chills, dizziness; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Other side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver if you feel dizzy, nauseous, lightheaded, itchy or itchy, short of breath, or have a headache, fever, chills, muscle or joint pain, sore or stiff throat, chest pain, or swallowing problems during an injection. The reaction may occur within 1 or 2 hours after the injection.
Severe and sometimes fatal infections may occur during Infliximab treatment. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of infection such as fever, extreme tiredness, flu symptoms, cough, or skin symptoms (pain, fever, or redness).
Also call your doctor if you have:
- skin changes, new growths on the skin;
- pale skin, easy scratches or bleeding;
- delayed allergy (up to 12 days after receiving Infliximab ) – fever, sore throat, swallowing problem, headache, joint or muscle pain, skin rash, or swelling of your face or hands;
- liver problems – upper abdominal pain on the right side, loss of appetite, yellow skin or eyes, and discomfort;
- lupus-like syndrome – joint pain or swelling, chest tightness, shortness of breath, skin rash on your cheeks or arms (worse in sunlight);
- emotional problems – numbness or tingling, vision problems, weakness in the arms or legs, fainting;
- new or degenerative psoriasis – redness of the skin or scaly patches, raised pores full of redness;
- symptoms of heart failure – shortness of breath and swelling of the ankles or feet, rapid weight gain;
- symptoms of stroke – sudden numbness or weakness, slurred speech or comprehension, loss of vision or balance, headache;
- symptoms of lymphoma – fever, night sweats, weight loss, abdominal pain or swelling, chest pain, cough, shortness of breath, swollen glands (neck, armpits, or uterus); or
- symptoms of tuberculosis — fever, cough, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, constant tiredness.
Serious infections are most likely to occur in adults 65 years of age or older.
- Common side effects may include:
- empty nose, sinus pain;
- fever, chills, sore throat;
- cough, chest pain, shortness of breath;
- high or low blood pressure;
- headache, headache;
- rash, itching; or
- abdominal pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and some may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You can report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Infliximab ?
Tell your doctor about all your other medications, especially:
- any “biologic” medicines to treat your condition – adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, natalizumab, rituximab, and others; or
- any other treatment for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, or psoriasis.
This list is not exhaustive. Other medications may affect Infliximab, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products.
Please contact your provider for any further information regarding this medication