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REMICADE
INFLIXIMAB - INJECTION

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

INFLIXIMAB - INJECTION

(in-FLICKS-ih-mab)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Remicade

WARNING: Infliximab decreases immune system function (immunosuppression), which can result in serious infections (e.g., tuberculosis or fungal infections), or a worsening of an existing infection. Before starting treatment with infliximab, you should have a TB skin test done to check for tuberculosis that may not be causing any symptoms (latent TB). If you are diagnosed with TB, anti-tuberculosis medicines must be started before you start infliximab therapy. This will prevent a serious TB infection. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop signs of infection while using this drug, such as: fever, persistent sore throat, unusual vaginal discharge, painful or frequent urination.

Uses

Infliximab inhibits a protein called TNF. This action results in decreased swelling (inflammation) and decreased immune system function (immunosuppression). Infliximab is effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis and certain bowel diseases (Crohn's disease), since swelling and an overactive immune system likely play a role in these diseases.

How To Use

This medication is given by vein (IV) over at least 2 hours. Follow all instructions for proper mixing and dilution with the correct IV fluids. Consult your pharmacist. This medication should be checked visually for particles or discoloration before use. The liquid should be colorless to light yellow and translucent particles may be present (this is normal). Do not use the liquid if whitish/opaque particles or discoloration are present.

Side Effects

Nausea or pain at the injection site may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Report promptly: fever, chills, headache, chest pain, cough, sore throat, unusual tiredness, stomach pain, unusual vaginal discharge, white patches in the mouth (fungal infection). Unlikely but report promptly: diarrhea, joint/muscle pain, mental/mood changes, changes in skin appearance, painful urination, increased urgency/frequency of urination, unusual bruising or bleeding, sudden weight gain. Very unlikely but report promptly: fast or irregular pulse, unusual lumps, swollen glands. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this medication, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing.

Precautions

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: any allergies, current infections, tumors (e.g., lymphoma), decreased immune system function. This medication is not recommended for use if you have the following medical condition: congestive heart failure (CHF). Infliximab may worsen CHF; some deaths have occurred in patients with CHF. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Use of this medication may result in a secondary infection (e.g., oral, bladder or vaginal yeast infection). Caution is advised when this drug is used in the elderly, as this group may be more sensitive to drug side effects. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known whether this drug is excreted into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all nonprescription and prescription medication you may use, especially: immune system suppressing drugs (e.g., prednisone, cyclosporine).

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests may be performed to monitor your response to therapy.

Missed Dose

If the dose is interrupted, contact your doctor immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.

Storage

Store in a refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 to 8 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not freeze. After mixing and dilution in correct IV fluids (consult your pharmacist for details), the drug should be used immediately. Discard any unused liquid.