Generic Name: infliximab, Injectable Solution

Generic Name:

infliximab, Injectable Solution

Remicade

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  • Remicade
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for infliximab

Injectable Solution
1

Infliximab is an injected drug used to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis.

2

The dose depends on the condition you’re treating. You won’t receive your next dose until 2 weeks after your first dose. Doses may become even more spread out after that.

3

Common side effects include respiratory infections, coughing, headaches, and stomach pain.

4

Don’t use infliximab if you have an infection. If you catch a cold or infection while taking this drug, call your doctor. Don’t try to treat it yourself. Infliximab may decrease your body’s ability to fight infections.

5

If you carry the hepatitis B virus, it can become active while you use infliximab. If the virus becomes active again, you’ll need to stop taking the drug and treat the infection.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Risk of serious infection. Infliximab may lower your immune system’s ability to fight infections. Some people develop serious infections while taking this drug. These may include tuberculosis (TB) or other infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

Don’t take infliximab if you have any kind of infection without talking to your doctor first. Your doctor may check you for symptoms of infections before, during, and after your treatment with infliximab.

Your doctor may also test you for TB before starting infliximab.

Risk of cancer: This medication increases the risk of lymphoma and other types of cancer. People younger than 18 years, young male adults, and those with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may be more likely to get cancer.

Talk to your doctor if you’ve had any type of cancer. Your doctor may need to adjust your medication.

Liver damage warning

Infliximab may harm your liver. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of liver damage, such as:

  • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • dark-colored urine
  • pain on the right side of your stomach area
  • fever
  • extreme tiredness

Lupus-like symptom risk

Lupus is a disease that affects your immune system. Symptoms may include chest pain that doesn’t go away, shortness of breath, joint pain, and a rash on your cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun. You doctor may decide to stop infliximab if you develop these symptoms.

Vaccine warning

Don’t receive a live vaccine while taking infliximab. Wait at least 3 months after stopping infliximab to receive a live vaccine. Examples of a live vaccine include the nasal spray flu vaccine, the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, and the chickenpox or shingles vaccine. A live vaccine may not fully protect you from the disease while you’re taking this drug. If you’re under the age of 18 years, make sure all vaccinations are up to date before starting infliximab.

Drug Features

Infliximab is a prescription drug. It’s available as an injectable solution.

It may be combined with methotrexate when being used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Why It's Used

Infliximab is used to treat:

  • Crohn’s disease—when you haven’t responded to other drugs
  • ulcerative colitis—when you haven’t responded to other drugs
  • rheumatoid arthritis—used with methotrexate

More Details

How It Works

This medication works by blocking the action of a protein in your body called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). TNF-alpha is made by your body’s immune system. People with certain conditions have too much TNF-alpha. This can cause the immune system to attack healthy parts of the body. Infliximab can block the damage caused by too much TNF-alpha.

Why It's Used

Infliximab is used to treat:

  • Crohn’s disease—when you haven’t responded to other drugs
  • ulcerative colitis—when you haven’t responded to other drugs
  • rheumatoid arthritis—used with methotrexate
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • long-term and severe plaque psoriasis—used when you need to treat your whole body or when other treatments aren’t right for you
SECTION 2 of 5

infliximab Side Effects

Injectable Solution

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with infliximab include: 

  • respiratory infections, such as sinus infections and sore throat

  • headaches

  • coughing

  • stomach pain

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • heart failure. Symptoms may include:

    • difficulty breathing
    • swelling of your ankles or feet
    • rapid weight gain
  • blood problems. Symptoms may include:

    • bruising or bleeding very easily
    • fever that does not go away
    • looking very pale
  • nervous system problems. Symptoms may include:

    • vision changes
    • weakness of your arms or legs
    • numbness or tingling of your body
    • seizures
  • allergic reactions/infusion reactions. May occur up to 2 hours after the infusion of infliximab. Symptoms may include:

    • skin rash
    • itching
    • hives
    • swelling of your face, lips, or tongue
    • fever or chills
    • problems breathing
    • chest pain
    • high or low blood pressure (dizzy or feeling faint)
  • delayed allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • muscle or joint pain
    • fever
    • rash
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • swelling of face or hands
    • difficulty swallowing
  • psoriasis. Symptoms may include:

    • red, scaly patches or raised bumps on the skin
  • signs of infection. Symptoms may include

    • fever or chills
    • cough
    • sore throat
    • pain or difficulty passing urine
    • feeling extremely tired
    • warm, red, or painful skin
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Infliximab does not cause drowsiness.

Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go way.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

infliximab May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable Solution

Infliximab can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs or vitamins you’re taking.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with infections

Tell your doctor if you have any kind of infection, even if it’s small, such as an open cut or a sore that looks infected. Your body may have a harder time fighting off the infection while you’re taking infliximab.

People with tuberculosis (TB)

Infliximab affects your immune system and may make it easier for you to get TB. Your doctor may test you for TB before starting the drug.

People with hepatitis B

If you carry the hepatitis B virus, it can become active while you use infliximab. Your doctor may do blood tests before you start, during treatment, and for several months following treatment with infliximab.

People with blood problems

Infliximab may affect your blood cells. Tell your doctor about any problems you have with your blood before you start taking infliximab.

People with nervous system problems

Infliximab may make symptoms of some nervous system problems worse. Use it with caution if you have multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barre syndrome.

People with heart failure

This medication may make heart failure worse. Call your doctor right away if you get symptoms of worsening heart failure. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, and sudden weight gain. You’ll need to stop taking infliximab if your heart failure gets worse.

Pregnant women

Infliximab is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown risk to the fetus.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Infliximab should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

Infliximab has been detected in breast milk in small amounts. If infliximab is passed to your baby through your breast milk, it could cause serious side effects.

You and your doctor may need to decide whether you’ll take infliximab or breastfeed.

For Seniors

You may be at higher risk for a serious infection while taking infliximab if you’re over the age of 65 years.

For Children

Infliximab hasn’t been shown to be safe and effective for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis in people younger than 6 years.

The safety and effectiveness of infliximab for other conditions haven’t been established in people younger than 18 years.

Allergies

Infliximab can cause a severe allergic reaction. This reaction can happen while you’re getting treatment or up to 2 hours after. Symptoms may include:

  • hives (red, raised, itchy patches of skin)
  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain
  • high or low blood pressure. Signs of low blood pressure include:
    • dizziness
    • feeling faint
    • trouble breathing
  • fever and chills

Sometimes infliximab can cause a delayed allergic reaction. Reactions may occur 3–12 days after receiving your injection. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of delayed allergic reaction:

  • fever
  • rash
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • muscle or joint pain
  • swelling of your face and hands
  • trouble swallowing
SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take infliximab (Dosage)

Injectable Solution

Your doctor will determine a dose that’s right for you based on your condition and weight. Your general health may affect your dose. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.

You’ll be given infliximab through a needle placed in a vein (IV or intravenous infusion) in your arm.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

If You Don’t Take It at All

If you don’t take infliximab, your condition may not improve and it may get worse.

If You Stop Taking It

Your condition may get worse if you stop taking infliximab.

If You Take Too Much

Only a healthcare provider should prepare the medicine and give it to you. Taking too much of the drug is unlikely. However, make sure to discuss your dose with your doctor at each visit and come in for follow-up appointments.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

It’s important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor if you’re unable to keep your appointment.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

You may be able to tell this drug is working if your symptoms get better. For Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, you may have fewer symptoms flare-ups. For arthritis, you may be able to move around and do tasks more easily.

Infliximab is a long-term drug treatment.

How Long Does It Take?

2 hours

Can I Drive Home After?

This treatment shouldn’t affect your ability to drive.

Travel

Traveling may affect your dosing schedule. Infliximab is given by a healthcare provider in a hospital or clinic setting. If you plan to travel, talk to your doctor about your travel plans and see if they’ll affect your dosing schedule.

Additional Tests Needed

Tuberculosis (TB) test: Your doctor may test you for TB before starting infliximab and check you closely for signs and symptoms while you take it.

Hepatitis B virus infection test: Your doctor may do blood tests to check you for the hepatitis B virus before you start treatment and while you’re receiving infliximab.

If you have the hepatitis B virus, your doctor will do blood tests during treatment and for several months following therapy.

Clinical Monitoring

Your doctor may monitor:

  • blood tests to check for infections
  • blood test to check for the hepatitis B virus infection
  • liver function tests

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for infliximab.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does infliximab Cost?

Injectable Solution
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

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Lowest price for infliximab

Membership warehouse $991.56
Publix $995.12
Kroger Pharmacy $995.45
These represent the lowest cash prices for infliximab and may be lower than your insurance.

Find the lowest prices of infliximab near you

These represent the lowest cash prices for infliximab and may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 26, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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