Health & Medical Medications & Drugs

Facts About Remicade

    Type

    • Remicade is made from a living organism rather than through the much more common chemical process. This type of drug, called a biologic, can be more effective for certain types of conditions. Examples of other biologics include vaccines and insulin.

    Cost

    • Remicade belongs to a class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. The average patient paid more than over $1,000 per month for Remicade as of 2009, according to the U.S. Senate Congressional Record.

    Method

    • The patient receives Remicade through intravenous infusion, usually every six to eight weeks. Infliximab is administered intravenously. For Crohn's disease, the dose is 5 mg; for rheumatoid arthritis, 3 mg.

    Warnings

    • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires a black box warning on Remicade labeling because the drug reduces white blood cell counts. It makes the patient more susceptible to infections, including serious diseases such as tuberculosis and blastomycosis.
      An additional black box warning addresses the increased risk of cancer associated with Remicade. The agency added an update in 2009 about the increased risk in children and adolescents.
      A Texas woman was awarded more $19 million in 2009 by a jury because she developed drug-induced lupus after receiving Remicade infusions to treat Crohn's disease. She also developed rheumatoid arthritis.

    Side Effects

    • The most common side effects of Remicade are upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, back pain, cough, rash, headache, weakness and fever.
      Allergic indications include fever, chills, low or high blood pressure, chest pain, difficulty breathing, rash and itching. The symptoms may occur during or shortly after the drug is administered.
      Before taking Remicade, have a tuberculosis skin testing (PPD tests for TB). Some patients taking the drug have had tuberculosis reactivated..



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