"June 8, 2012 -- Rheumatoid arthritis patients who take medications known as anti-TNFs may be treating more than their disease. According to new research presented at a European meeting, these patients may be less likely to have a heart attack and"...
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
INFLIXIMAB - INJECTION
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Remicade
WARNING: This medication can decrease your body's ability to fight an infection. This effect can lead to very serious (possibly fatal) infections (e.g., fungal infections, bacterial infections including tuberculosis). You should have a tuberculosis (TB) skin test before and during treatment with this medication. Also tell your doctor your medical history, especially of past/recent/current infections. You should also tell your doctor if you have lived or traveled in areas where certain fungal infections (e.g., coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis) are common or if you have been near someone with tuberculosis. Areas where these types of fungal infections are commonly found include the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the southwestern United States. See Side Effects section for symptoms of infections to watch out for, and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of these symptoms.
The immune system is also important in preventing and controlling cancer. Though it is very unlikely to happen, there is a risk (especially in children/teens/young adults) of developing cancer (such as lymphoma, skin) due to this medication or due to your medical condition. Discuss risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as: unusual lumps/growths, swollen glands, swollen or painful abdomen, unexplained weight loss, persistent fever or night sweats.
In patients using infliximab along with azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine for the treatment of Crohn's disease, there have been rare reports of an extremely rare, often fatal cancer (hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma). Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as fever, night sweats, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, or swollen lymph nodes.
See also Side Effects.
USES: This medication is used to treat certain types of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis of the spine, psoriatic arthritis), certain bowel diseases (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis), and a certain severe skin disease (chronic plaque psoriasis). In these conditions, the body's defense system (immune system) attacks healthy tissues. Infliximab works by blocking the actions of a certain natural substance (tumor necrosis factor alpha) in the body. This helps to decrease swelling (inflammation) and weaken your immune system, thereby slowing or stopping the damage from the disease.
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using infliximab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is given by injection into a vein over at least 2 hours as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment. After the first dose, this medication is usually given again after 2 weeks and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks thereafter (every 6 weeks for arthritis of the spine) or as directed by your doctor.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Your doctor may direct you to use other medications (to help prevent side effects) before using infliximab. Use those medications exactly as directed.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark the days on the calendar when you need to receive the medication.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
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