Remicade infusion contains the active ingredient infliximab, which is a type of medicine called a monoclonal antibody. It works by suppressing part of the immune system and modifying the process of inflammation.
Monoclonal antibodies are manufactured antibodies that are specifically designed to recognise and bind to unique proteins in the body. Infliximab works by binding to and preventing the activity of a specific protein produced by the body, called tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha). TNF alpha is involved in producing inflammation. It controls the activity of other inflammatory chemicals.
TNF alpha is involved in various inflammatory conditions. It is found in the inflamed joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis. It is also involved in a form of arthritis affecting the spine, called ankylosing spondilitis, and a form of arthritis that affects the skin as well as the joints, called psoriatic arthritis.
TNF alpha is also found in the inflamed lining of the intestine of people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and is also involved in plaque psoriasis.
By preventing the action of TNF alpha, infliximab prevents the inflammatory responses it causes. In all the conditions mentioned, it reduces the inflammation and related symptoms.
In arthritic conditions, treatment with infliximab reduces the movement of inflammatory cells into inflamed areas of the joints. This reduces the signs and symptoms of the arthritis, improves physical function of the joints and reduces the rate of joint damage. It also reduces the presence of other inflammatory markers.
In Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, treatment with infliximab reduces the movement of inflammatory cells into inflamed areas of the intestines. In ulcerative colitis it encourages ulcers on the walls of the intestines to heal.
In plaque psoriasis, infliximab reduces the skin inflammation and thickened scaly plaques of skin.
Infliximab is only given under the supervision of specialists in these diseases. It is given as a drip into a vein (intravenous infusion) over a two hour period. This is repeated two and six weeks after the first infusion and then at further intervals of six to eight weeks, depending on the condition treated and the response to the first doses.
Infliximab is used in combination with methotrexate, when disease modifiying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs, eg sulfasalazine, methotrexate) have not been effective. It can also be used for people with severe active progressive rheumatoid arthritis who have not previously been treated with DMARDs.
Infliximab is used for patients who have severe symptoms and who have responded inadequately to conventional therapy.
Infliximab is used for active progressive disease that has not responded adequately to treatment with disease modifiying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs, eg sulfasalazine, methotrexate). It can be used in combination with methotrexate, or on its own for people who cannot take methotrexate.
Infliximab is used to treat adults with this condition who have failed to respond to, or who cannot take other sytemic therapies including ciclosporin, methotrexate or PUVA.
Infliximab is used when conventional treatment with a corticosteroid and an immunosuppressant has been ineffective, or is not appropriate for the patient.
Infliximab is used for people who have not responded to conventional treatment, including antibiotics, drainage and immunosuppressive therapy.
Infliximab is used when conventional treatment, including corticosteroids and mercaptopurine or azathioprine, has been ineffective, or is not appropriate for the patient.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Since this is a relatively new medicine, there is limited information about its potential interactions with other medicines. Always tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including over-the-counter and herbal medicines, before starting treatment with infliximab. Similarly, always seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while you are receiving treatment with infliximab, so they can check that the combination is safe.
Infliximab is not recommended for use in combination with anakinra, as this combination may increase the risk of serious infections, without an increase in efficacy against the disease treated.
This medicine suppresses part of the immune system. This means that vaccines may potentially be less effective if given during treatment, and live vaccines may cause serious infections. Live vaccines include: measles, mumps, rubella, MMR, oral polio, oral typhoid and yellow fever. It is recommended that live vaccines are not given to people being treated with this medicine.
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain infliximab as the active ingredient.