Infliximab review

People suffering from certain diseases have an excessive amount of a protein called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which is created by the immune system. This leads to the immune system attacking healthy organs. Infliximab, marketed under the brand name Remicade, prevents such damage of healthy organs by blocking the action of TNF-alpha.

Infliximab is a prescription medicine that is prescribed to patients who suffer from rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, Crohn's Disease, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis.

Remicade is administered through injection into a vein over a minimum of two hours. The dosage varies per person and depends on his illness, weight, and response to the treatment. After the initial dose, Remicade is commonly injected again after two weeks and six weeks, and every eight weeks thereafter (for arthritis of the spine, every 6 weeks) or as advised by the doctor.

The doctor may prescribe other medications to take before using infliximab, so as to prevent some of its possible side effects.

People undergoing treatment with Remicade have experienced several adverse effects. Flu-like symptoms (including headache, chills, and fever), dyspnea (breathing difficulty), hypotension, gastrointestinal symptoms, and skin rashes are among the most common side effects. Anaphylaxis—an extreme, life-threatening skin allergy—might be experienced any time while having Remicade infusion. Anaphylactic-like reactions, such as laryngeal/pharyngeal edema, seizure, and severe bronchospasm are common. People who experience severe infusion-related hypersensitivity reactions should stop Remicade treatment at once.

Other side effects include delayed hypersensitivity reactions, such as serum sickness, arthralgia (join pain) and/or myalgia (muscle pain), as well as fever and/or rash. Some patients also experienced sore throat, headache, pruritus (severe itching), edema of the face, hand, or lip, dysphagia (swallowing difficulty), or urticaria (or hives).

Infections are also common among Remicade users. Respiratory tract infections (such as sinusitis, bronchitis, and pharyngitis) and urinary tract infections are the most frequently reported. More serious infections are pneumonia, sepsis, abscess, skin ulceration, and bacterial infection.

Worsening heart failure, malignancies, hepatotoxicity, liver injury, blood problems, and lupus-like syndrome were also reported by Remicade users.

Patients taking Remicade have an increased risk for infections. Patients who have existing infections can experience more serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death. Reported infections among patients using Remicade include tuberculosis, bacterial sepsis, invasive fungal, and others. Such patients must be given appropriate antimicrobial therapy immediately while those with more severe infections should stop Remicade treatment.

Patients taking Remicade often experience tuberculosis. As such, a patient must be properly evaluated for tuberculosis risk factors and undergo testing for latent tuberculosis infection before using Remicade and even while undergoing therapy. Latent tuberculosis infection should be treated before starting the use of Remicade. It should also be noted that some patients who have no latent tuberculosis before using Remicade have developed active tuberculosis while undergoing treatment.

Cases of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma have also been reported among adolescents and young adult patients with Crohn's disease, albeit rarely. This rare type of T-cell lymphoma is very aggressive and deadly. These cases of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphomas have occurred in patients who are taking Remicade along with azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine, so steer clear form using these medications along with Remicade.

• Molecular formula of infliximab is C6428H9912N1694O1987S46
• Chemical IUPAC Name is Chimeric mouse/human anti-TNF-alpha antibody (cA2)
• Molecular weight is 144190.3 g/mol

Brand name(s): Remicade

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