Imuran vs. Remicade

Are Imuran and Remicade the Same Thing?

Imuran (azathioprine) and Remicade (infliximab) are used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Imuran is also used to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted kidney.

Remicade is also used to treat psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and ankylosing spondylitis. Remicade is also used to treat severe or disabling plaque psoriasis (raised, silvery flaking of the skin).

Imuran and Remicade belong to different drug classes. Imuran is an immunosuppressive antimetabolite and Remicade is a chimeric IgG1k monoclonal antibody.

Side effects of Imuran and Remicade that are similar include stomach upset or pain, nausea, or skin rash.

Side effects of Imuran that are different from Remicade include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hair loss.

Side effects of Remicade that are different from Imuran include headache, stuffy nose, sinus pain, or flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).

Imuran may interact with allopurinol, mercaptopurine, methotrexate, blood thinners, cyclosporine, olsalazine, sulfasalazine, sulfamethoxasole, trimethoprim, or ACE inhibitors.

Remicade may interact with abatacept, anakinra, tocilizumab, any "biologic" medications to treat your condition, or any other medicines to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, or psoriasis.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Imuran?

Common side effects of Imuran include:

  • upset stomach,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • loss of appetite,
  • hair loss, or
  • skin rash.

Tell your doctor if you experience unlikely but serious side effects of Imuran including:

  • muscle loss,
  • hair loss,
  • cold/numbness in the fingers,
  • mouth sores,
  • difficult/painful swallowing, or
  • greasy stools.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Remicade?

Common side effects of Remicade include:

  • headache,
  • stomach pain,
  • nausea,
  • stuffy nose,
  • sinus pain,
  • skin rash, or
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Remicade including:

  • pain or swelling at injection site,
  • joint or muscle pain,
  • swelling of ankles or feet,
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • vision changes,
  • seizures,
  • confusion,
  • muscle weakness,
  • numbness and tingling of arms or legs,
  • butterfly-shaped facial rash,
  • chest pain,
  • pain/redness/swelling of arms or legs,
  • shortness of breath, or
  • fast/slow/irregular heartbeat.

What Is Imuran?

Imuran (azathioprine) is an immunosuppressive antimetabolite used to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted kidney. Imuran is also used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Imuran is available in generic form.

What Is Remicade?

Remicade (infliximab) is a chimeric IgG1k monoclonal antibody used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and ankylosing spondylitis. Remicade is also used to treat severe or disabling plaque psoriasis (raised, silvery flaking of the skin). Remicade is often used when other medicines have not been effective. Remicade blocks the action of a protein in your body called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha).

QUESTION

The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer

What Drugs Interact With Imuran?

Imuran may interact with diuretics (water pills), blood thinners, cyclosporine, insulin or oral diabetes medications, rifampin, azole antifungals, or seizure medications.

Imuran may also interact with antibiotics, anticholinesterase, isoniazid, bupropion, cholestyramine, cyclosporine, digitalis glycosides, estrogens (including oral contraceptives), barbiturates, ritonavir, indinavir, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), quetiapine, skin tests, thalidomide, and live or inactivated vaccines.

Following prolonged therapy, withdrawal of corticosteroids such as dexamethasone or remicade may result in symptoms of the corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome including muscle or joint pain and feeling unwell (malaise).

What Drugs Interact With Remicade?

Other drugs may interact with Remicade. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you use.

How Should Imuran Be Taken?

The dose of Imuran to prevent transplant rejection and minimize toxicity varies. The initial dose is usually 3 to 5 mg/kg daily, beginning at the time of transplant. It is usually given as a single daily dose on the day of, and in some cases 1 to 3 days before, transplantation. Maintenance levels of 1 to 3 mg/kg daily are usually possible. For rheumatoid arthritis, the initial dose is approx. 1.0 mg/kg (50 to 100 mg) given as a single dose or twice-daily. Maximum dose is 2.5 mg/kg per day.

How Should Remicade Be Taken?

The dosing of Remicade varies, and depends on the condition being treated.

SLIDESHOW

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow
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References
Dailymed. Remicade Product Information.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=aaa6c540-4c84-48a0-939c-cd423134fa2a&audience=consumer
Janssen. Remicade Product Monograph.
https://www.remicade.com/

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