"Nov. 9, 2010 (Atlanta) -- People who take drugs called TNF blockers for rheumatoid arthritis may potentially reduce their odds of developing Alzheimer's disease, preliminary research suggests.
The use of TNF blockers was associated with"...
Patients treated with REMICADE are at increased risk for developing serious infections involving various organ systems and sites that may lead to hospitalization or death.
Opportunistic infections due to bacterial, mycobacterial, invasive fungal, viral, or parasitic organisms including aspergillosis, blastomycosis, candidiasis, coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, legionellosis, listeriosis, pneumocystosis and tuberculosis have been reported with TNF-blockers. Patients have frequently presented with disseminated rather than localized disease.
Treatment with REMICADE should not be initiated in patients with an active infection, including clinically important localized infections. Patients greater than 65 years of age, patients with co-morbid conditions and/or patients taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as corticosteroids or methotrexate may be at greater risk of infection. The risks and benefits of treatment should be considered prior to initiating therapy in patients:
- with chronic or recurrent infection;
- who have been exposed to tuberculosis;
- with a history of an opportunistic infection;
- who have resided or traveled in areas of endemic tuberculosis or endemic mycoses, such as histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis; or
- with underlying conditions that may predispose them to infection.
Cases of reactivation of tuberculosis or new tuberculosis infections have been observed in patients receiving REMICADE, including patients who have previously received treatment for latent or active tuberculosis. Cases of active tuberculosis have also occurred in patients being treated with REMICADE during treatment for latent tuberculosis.
Patients should be evaluated for tuberculosis risk factors and tested for latent infection prior to initiating REMICADE and periodically during therapy. Treatment of latent tuberculosis infection prior to therapy with TNF blocking agents has been shown to reduce the risk of tuberculosis reactivation during therapy. Induration of 5 mm or greater with tuberculin skin testing should be considered a positive test result when assessing if treatment for latent tuberculosis is needed prior to initiating REMICADE, even for patients previously vaccinated with Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG).
Anti-tuberculosis therapy should also be considered prior to initiation of REMICADE in patients with a past history of latent or active tuberculosis in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed, and for patients with a negative test for latent tuberculosis but having risk factors for tuberculosis infection. Consultation with a physician with expertise in the treatment of tuberculosis is recommended to aid in the decision whether initiating anti-tuberculosis therapy is appropriate for an individual patient.
Tuberculosis should be strongly considered in patients who develop a new infection during REMICADE treatment, especially in patients who have previously or recently traveled to countries with a high prevalence of tuberculosis, or who have had close contact with a person with active tuberculosis.
Patients should be closely monitored for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with REMICADE, including the development of tuberculosis in patients who tested negative for latent tuberculosis infection prior to initiating therapy. Tests for latent tuberculosis infection may also be falsely negative while on therapy with REMICADE.
REMICADE should be discontinued if a patient develops a serious infection or sepsis. A patient who develops a new infection during treatment with REMICADE should be closely monitored, undergo a prompt and complete diagnostic workup appropriate for an immunocompromised patient, and appropriate antimicrobial therapy should be initiated.
Invasive Fungal Infections
For patients who reside or travel in regions where mycoses are endemic, invasive fungal infection should be suspected if they develop a serious systemic illness. Appropriate empiric antifungal therapy should be considered while a diagnostic workup is being performed. Antigen and antibody testing for histoplasmosis may be negative in some patients with active infection. When feasible, the decision to administer empiric antifungal therapy in these patients should be made in consultation with a physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of invasive fungal infections and should take into account both the risk for severe fungal infection and the risks of antifungal therapy.
Malignancies, some fatal, have been reported among children, adolescents and young adults who received treatment with TNF-blocking agents (initiation of therapy ≤ 18 years of age), including REMICADE. Approximately half of these cases were lymphomas, including Hodgkin's and nonHodgkin's lymphoma. The other cases represented a variety of malignancies, including rare malignancies that are usually associated with immunosuppression and malignancies that are not usually observed in children and adolescents. The malignancies occurred after a median of 30 months (range 1 to 84 months) after the first dose of TNF blocker therapy. Most of the patients were receiving concomitant immunosuppressants. These cases were reported post-marketing and are derived from a variety of sources, including registries and spontaneous postmarketing reports.
In the controlled portions of clinical trials of all the TNF-blocking agents, more cases of lymphoma have been observed among patients receiving a TNF blocker compared with control patients. In the controlled and open-label portions of REMICADE clinical trials, 5 patients developed lymphomas among 5707 patients treated with REMICADE (median duration of follow-up 1.0 years) vs. 0 lymphomas in 1600 control patients (median duration of follow-up 0.4 years). In rheumatoid arthritis patients, 2 lymphomas were observed for a rate of 0.08 cases per 100 patient-years of follow-up, which is approximately three-fold higher than expected in the general population. In the combined clinical trial population for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, and plaque psoriasis, 5 lymphomas were observed for a rate of 0.10 cases per 100 patient-years of follow-up, which is approximately four-fold higher than expected in the general population. Patients with Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis or plaque psoriasis, particularly patients with highly active disease and/or chronic exposure to immunosuppressant therapies, may be at a higher risk (up to several fold) than the general population for the development of lymphoma, even in the absence of TNF-blocking therapy. Cases of acute and chronic leukemia have been reported with postmarketing TNF-blocker use in rheumatoid arthritis and other indications. Even in the absence of TNF blocker therapy, patients with rheumatoid arthritis may be at a higher risk (approximately 2-fold) than the general population for the development of leukemia.
Hepatosplenic T-cell Lymphoma (HSTCL)
Postmarketing cases of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL), a rare type of T-cell lymphoma, have been reported in patients treated with TNF blockers including REMICADE. These cases have had a very aggressive disease course and have been fatal. Almost all patients had received treatment with the immunosuppressants azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine concomitantly with a TNF-blocker at or prior to diagnosis. The majority of reported REMICADE cases have occurred in patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and most were in adolescent and young adult males. It is uncertain whether the occurrence of HSTCL is related to TNF-blockers or TNF-blockers in combination with these other immunosuppressants. When treating patients, consideration of whether to use REMICADE alone or in combination with other immunosuppressants such as azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine should take into account a possibility that there is a higher risk of HSTCL with combination therapy versus an observed increased risk of immunogenicity and hypersensitivity reactions with REMICADE monotherapy from the clinical trial data [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma have been reported in patients treated with TNF blocker therapy, including REMICADE [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Periodic skin examination is recommended for all patients, particularly those with risk factors for skin cancer.
In the controlled portions of clinical trials of some TNF-blocking agents including REMICADE, more malignancies (excluding lymphoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer [NMSC]) have been observed in patients receiving those TNF-blockers compared with control patients. During the controlled portions of REMICADE trials in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, and plaque psoriasis, 14 patients were diagnosed with malignancies (excluding lymphoma and NMSC) among 4019 REMICADE-treated patients vs. 1 among 1597 control patients (at a rate of 0.52/100 patient-years among REMICADE-treated patients vs. a rate of 0.11/100 patient-years among control patients), with median duration of follow-up 0.5 years for REMICADE-treated patients and 0.4 years for control patients. Of these, the most common malignancies were breast, colorectal, and melanoma. The rate of malignancies among REMICADE-treated patients was similar to that expected in the general population whereas the rate in control patients was lower than expected.
In a clinical trial exploring the use of REMICADE in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), more malignancies, the majority of lung or head and neck origin, were reported in REMICADE-treated patients compared with control patients. All patients had a history of heavy smoking [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Prescribers should exercise caution when considering the use of REMICADE in patients with moderate to severe COPD.
Psoriasis patients should be monitored for nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), particularly those patients who have had prior prolonged phototherapy treatment. In the maintenance portion of clinical trials for REMICADE, NMSCs were more common in patients with previous phototherapy [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
The potential role of TNF-blocking therapy in the development of malignancies is not known [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Rates in clinical trials for REMICADE cannot be compared to rates in clinical trials of other TNF-blockers and may not predict rates observed in a broader patient population. Caution should be exercised in considering REMICADE treatment in patients with a history of malignancy or in continuing treatment in patients who develop malignancy while receiving REMICADE.
Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation
Use of TNF blockers, including REMICADE, has been associated with reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in patients who are chronic carriers of this virus. In some instances, HBV reactivation occurring in conjunction with TNF blocker therapy has been fatal. The majority of these reports have occurred in patients concomitantly receiving other medications that suppress the immune system, which may also contribute to HBV reactivation. Patients should be tested for HBV infection before initiating TNF blocker therapy, including REMICADE. For patients who test positive for hepatitis B surface antigen, consultation with a physician with expertise in the treatment of hepatitis B is recommended. Adequate data are not available on the safety or efficacy of treating patients who are carriers of HBV with anti-viral therapy in conjunction with TNF blocker therapy to prevent HBV reactivation. Patients who are carriers of HBV and require treatment with TNF blockers should be closely monitored for clinical and laboratory signs of active HBV infection throughout therapy and for several months following termination of therapy. In patients who develop HBV reactivation, TNF blockers should be stopped and antiviral therapy with appropriate supportive treatment should be initiated. The safety of resuming TNF blocker therapy after HBV reactivation is controlled is not known. Therefore, prescribers should exercise caution when considering resumption of TNF blocker therapy in this situation and monitor patients closely.
Severe hepatic reactions, including acute liver failure, jaundice, hepatitis and cholestasis, have been reported rarely in postmarketing data in patients receiving REMICADE. Autoimmune hepatitis has been diagnosed in some of these cases. Severe hepatic reactions occurred between 2 weeks to more than 1 year after initiation of REMICADE; elevations in hepatic aminotransferase levels were not noted prior to discovery of the liver injury in many of these cases. Some of these cases were fatal or necessitated liver transplantation. Patients with symptoms or signs of liver dysfunction should be evaluated for evidence of liver injury. If jaundice and/or marked liver enzyme elevations (e.g., ≥ 5 times the upper limit of normal) develop, REMICADE should be discontinued, and a thorough investigation of the abnormality should be undertaken. In clinical trials, mild or moderate elevations of ALT and AST have been observed in patients receiving REMICADE without progression to severe hepatic injury [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Patients With Heart Failure
REMICADE has been associated with adverse outcomes in patients with heart failure, and should be used in patients with heart failure only after consideration of other treatment options. The results of a randomized study evaluating the use of REMICADE in patients with heart failure (NYHA Functional Class III/IV) suggested higher mortality in patients who received 10 mg/kg REMICADE, and higher rates of cardiovascular adverse events at doses of 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg. There have been post-marketing reports of worsening heart failure, with and without identifiable precipitating factors, in patients taking REMICADE. There have also been rare post-marketing reports of new onset heart failure, including heart failure in patients without known pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Some of these patients have been under 50 years of age. If a decision is made to administer REMICADE to patients with heart failure, they should be closely monitored during therapy, and REMICADE should be discontinued if new or worsening symptoms of heart failure appear [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Cases of leukopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and pancytopenia, some with a fatal outcome, have been reported in patients receiving REMICADE. The causal relationship to REMICADE therapy remains unclear. Although no high-risk group(s) has been identified, caution should be exercised in patients being treated with REMICADE who have ongoing or a history of significant hematologic abnormalities. All patients should be advised to seek immediate medical attention if they develop signs and symptoms suggestive of blood dyscrasias or infection (e.g., persistent fever) while on REMICADE. Discontinuation of REMICADE therapy should be considered in patients who develop significant hematologic abnormalities.
REMICADE has been associated with hypersensitivity reactions that vary in their time of onset and required hospitalization in some cases. Most hypersensitivity reactions, which include urticaria, dyspnea, and/or hypotension, have occurred during or within 2 hours of REMICADE infusion.
However, in some cases, serum sickness-like reactions have been observed in patients after initial REMICADE therapy (i.e., as early as after the second dose), and when REMICADE therapy was reinstituted following an extended period without REMICADE treatment. Symptoms associated with these reactions include fever, rash, headache, sore throat, myalgias, polyarthralgias, hand and facial edema and/or dysphagia. These reactions were associated with a marked increase in antibodies to infliximab, loss of detectable serum concentrations of infliximab, and possible loss of drug efficacy.
REMICADE should be discontinued for severe hypersensitivity reactions. Medications for the treatment of hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., acetaminophen, antihistamines, corticosteroids and/or epinephrine) should be available for immediate use in the event of a reaction [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
In rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and psoriasis clinical trials, re-administration of REMICADE after a period of no treatment resulted in a higher incidence of infusion reactions relative to regular maintenance treatment [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. In general, the benefit-risk of re-administration of REMICADE after a period of no-treatment, especially as a re-induction regimen given at weeks 0, 2 and 6, should be carefully considered. In the case where REMICADE maintenance therapy for psoriasis is interrupted, REMICADE should be reinitiated as a single dose followed by maintenance therapy.
REMICADE and other agents that inhibit TNF have been associated in rare cases with CNS manifestation of systemic vasculitis, seizure and new onset or exacerbation of clinical symptoms and/or radiographic evidence of central nervous system demyelinating disorders, including multiple sclerosis and optic neuritis, and peripheral demyelinating disorders, including Guillain-Barré syndrome. Prescribers should exercise caution in considering the use of REMICADE in patients with these neurologic disorders and should consider discontinuation of REMICADE if these disorders develop.
Use With Anakinra
Serious infections and neutropenia were seen in clinical studies with concurrent use of anakinra and another TNFα-blocking agent, etanercept, with no added clinical benefit compared to etanercept alone. Because of the nature of the adverse reactions seen with the combination of etanercept and anakinra therapy, similar toxicities may also result from the combination of anakinra and other TNFα-blocking agents. Therefore, the combination of REMICADE and anakinra is not recommended.
Use With Abatacept
In clinical studies, concurrent administration of TNF-blocking agents and abatacept have been associated with an increased risk of infections including serious infections compared with TNF-blocking agents alone, without increased clinical benefit. Therefore, the combination of REMICADE and abatacept is not recommended [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Concurrent Administration With Other Biological Therapeutics
There is insufficient information regarding the concomitant use of REMICADE with other biological therapeutics used to treat the same conditions as REMICADE. The concomitant use of REMICADE with these biologics is not recommended because of the possibility of an increased risk of infection [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Switching Between Biological Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
Care should be taken when switching from one biologic to another, since overlapping biological activity may further increase the risk of infection.
Treatment with REMICADE may result in the formation of autoantibodies and, rarely, in the development of a lupus-like syndrome. If a patient develops symptoms suggestive of a lupus-like syndrome following treatment with REMICADE, treatment should be discontinued [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Live Vaccines/Therapeutic Infectious Agents
In patients receiving anti-TNF therapy, limited data are available on the response to vaccination with live vaccines or on the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines. Use of live vaccines can result in clinical infections, including disseminated infections. The concurrent administration of live vaccines with REMICADE is not recommended.
Fatal outcome due to disseminated BCG infection has been reported in an infant who received a BCG vaccine after in utero exposure to infliximab. Infliximab is known to cross the placenta and has been detected up to 6 months following birth. At least a six month waiting period following birth is recommended before the administration of any live vaccine to infants exposed in utero to infliximab.
Other uses of therapeutic infectious agents such as live attenuated bacteria (e.g., BCG bladder instillation for the treatment of cancer) could result in clinical infections, including disseminated infections. It is recommended that therapeutic infectious agents not be given concurrently with REMICADE.
It is recommended that all pediatric patients be brought up to date with all vaccinations prior to initiating REMICADE therapy. The interval between vaccination and initiation of REMICADE therapy should be in accordance with current vaccination guidelines.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-Approved Patient Labeling (Medication Guide)
Patients or their caregivers should be advised of the potential benefits and risks of REMICADE. Physicians should instruct their patients to read the Medication Guide before starting REMICADE therapy and to reread it each time they receive an infusion. It is important that the patient's overall health be assessed at each treatment visit and that any questions resulting from the patient's or their caregiver's reading of the Medication Guide be discussed.
Inform patients that REMICADE may lower the ability of their immune system to fight infections. Instruct patients of the importance of contacting their doctors if they develop any symptoms of an infection, including tuberculosis and reactivation of hepatitis B virus infections. Patients should be counseled about the risk of lymphoma and other malignancies while receiving REMICADE.
- Other Medical Conditions
Advise patients to report any signs of new or worsening medical conditions such as heart disease, neurological disease, or autoimmune disorders. Advise patients to report any symptoms of a cytopenia such as bruising, bleeding or persistent fever.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
The significance of the results of nonclinical studies for human risk is unknown. A repeat dose toxicity study was conducted with mice given cV1q anti-mouse TNFα to evaluate tumorigenicity. CV1q is an analogous antibody that inhibits the function of TNFα in mice. Animals were assigned to 1 of 3 dose groups: control, 10 mg/kg or 40 mg/kg cV1q given weekly for 6 months. The weekly doses of 10 mg/kg and 40 mg/kg are 2 and 8 times, respectively, the human dose of 5 mg/kg for Crohn's disease. Results indicated that cV1q did not cause tumorigenicity in mice. No clastogenic or mutagenic effects of infliximab were observed in the in vivo mouse micronucleus test or the Salmonella-Escherichia coli (Ames) assay, respectively. Chromosomal aberrations were not observed in an assay performed using human lymphocytes. It is not known whether infliximab can impair fertility in humans. No impairment of fertility was observed in a fertility and general reproduction toxicity study with the analogous mouse antibody used in the 6-month chronic toxicity study.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category B. It is not known whether REMICADE can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. REMICADE should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed. Because infliximab does not cross-react with TNFα in species other than humans and chimpanzees, animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with REMICADE. No evidence of maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity or teratogenicity was observed in a developmental toxicity study conducted in mice using an analogous antibody that selectively inhibits the functional activity of mouse TNFα. Doses of 10 to 15 mg/kg in pharmacodynamic animal models with the anti-TNF analogous antibody produced maximal pharmacologic effectiveness. Doses up to 40 mg/kg were shown to produce no adverse effects in animal reproduction studies.
As with other IgG antibodies, infliximab crosses the placenta. Infliximab has been detected in the serum of infants up to 6 months following birth. Consequently, these infants may be at increased risk of infection, including disseminated infection which can become fatal. At least a six month waiting period following birth is recommended before the administration of live vaccines (e.g., BCG vaccine or other live vaccines, such as the rotavirus vaccine) to these infants [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
It is not known whether REMICADE is excreted in human milk or absorbed systemically after ingestion. Because many drugs and immunoglobulins are excreted in human milk, and because of the potential for adverse reactions in nursing infants from REMICADE, women should not breast-feed their infants while taking REMICADE. A decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
The safety and effectiveness of REMICADE have been established in pediatric patients 6 to 17 years of age for induction and maintenance treatment of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. However, REMICADE has not been studied in children with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis < 6 years of age.
Pediatric Crohn's Disease
REMICADE is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms and inducing and maintaining clinical remission in pediatric patients with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy [see BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, INDICATIONS AND USAGE, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Clinical Studies and ADVERSE REACTIONS].
REMICADE has been studied only in combination with conventional immunosuppressive therapy in pediatric Crohn's disease. The longer term (greater than 1 year) safety and effectiveness of REMICADE in pediatric Crohn's disease patients have not been established in clinical trials.
Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis
The safety and effectiveness of REMICADE for reducing signs and symptoms and inducing and maintaining clinical remission in pediatric patients aged 6 years and older with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy are supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies of REMICADE in adults. Additional safety and pharmacokinetic data were collected in 60 pediatric patients aged 6 years and older [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and Clinical Studies]. The effectiveness of REMICADE in inducing and maintaining mucosal healing could not be established. Although 41 patients had a Mayo endoscopy subscore of 0 or 1 at the Week 8 endoscopy, the induction phase was open-label and lacked a control group. Only 9 patients had an optional endoscopy at Week 54.
In the pediatric UC trial, approximately half of the patients were on concomitant immunomodulators (AZA, 6-MP, MTX) at study start. Due to the risk of HSTCL, a careful risk-benefit assessment should be made when REMICADE is used in combination with other immunosuppressants.
The longer term (greater than 1 year) safety and effectiveness of REMICADE in pediatric ulcerative colitis patients have not been established in clinical trials.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
The safety and efficacy of REMICADE in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) were evaluated in a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study for 14 weeks, followed by a double-blind, all-active treatment extension, for a maximum of 44 weeks. Patients with active JRA between the ages of 4 and 17 years who had been treated with MTX for at least 3 months were enrolled. Concurrent use of folic acid, oral corticosteroids ( ≤ 0.2 mg/kg/day of prednisone or equivalent), NSAIDs, and/or disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) was permitted.
Doses of 3 mg/kg REMICADE or placebo were administered intravenously at Weeks 0, 2 and 6. Patients randomized to placebo crossed-over to receive 6 mg/kg REMICADE at Weeks 14, 16, and 20, and then every 8 weeks through Week 44. Patients who completed the study continued to receive open-label treatment with REMICADE for up to 2 years in a companion extension study.
The study failed to establish the efficacy of REMICADE in the treatment of JRA. Key observations in the study included a high placebo response rate and a higher rate of immunogenicity than what has been observed in adults. Additionally, a higher rate of clearance of infliximab was observed than had been observed in adults [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
A total of 60 patients with JRA were treated with doses of 3 mg/kg and 57 patients were treated with doses of 6 mg/kg. The proportion of patients with infusion reactions who received 3 mg/kg REMICADE was 35% (21/60) over 52 weeks compared with 18% (10/57) in patients who received 6 mg/kg over 38 weeks. The most common infusion reactions reported were vomiting, fever, headache, and hypotension. In the 3 mg/kg REMICADE group, 4 patients had a serious infusion reaction and 3 patients reported a possible anaphylactic reaction (2 of which were among the serious infusion reactions). In the 6 mg/kg REMICADE group, 2 patients had a serious infusion reaction, 1 of whom had a possible anaphylactic reaction. Two of the 6 patients who experienced serious infusion reactions received REMICADE by rapid infusion (duration of less than 2 hours). Antibodies to infliximab developed in 38% (20/53) of patients who received 3 mg/kg REMICADE compared with 12% (6/49) of patients who received 6 mg/kg.
A total of 68% (41/60) of patients who received 3 mg/kg REMICADE in combination with MTX experienced an infection over 52 weeks compared with 65% (37/57) of patients who received 6 mg/kg REMICADE in combination with MTX over 38 weeks. The most commonly reported infections were upper respiratory tract infection and pharyngitis, and the most commonly reported serious infection was pneumonia. Other notable infections included primary varicella infection in 1 patient and herpes zoster in 1 patient.
In rheumatoid arthritis and plaque psoriasis clinical trials, no overall differences were observed in effectiveness or safety in 181 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 75 patients with plaque psoriasis, aged 65 or older who received REMICADE, compared to younger patients -although the incidence of serious adverse reactions in patients aged 65 or older was higher in both REMICADE and control groups compared to younger patients. In Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis studies, there were insufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from patients aged 18 to 65. There is a greater incidence of infections in the elderly population in general. The incidence of serious infections in REMICADE-treated patients 65 years and older was greater than in those under 65 years of age; therefore caution should be used in treating the elderly [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/9/2015
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