Remicade Psoriatic Arthritis Side Effects
Common Side Effects
- The side effects that occurred in more than five percent of Remicade-treated patients during clinical trials--and more frequently than in patients receiving a placebo--were nausea, abdominal pain, upset stomach, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, sinusitis, sore throat, nasal irritation, bronchitis, itching (i.e., pruritis), rash, fever, pain, fatigue, oral yeast infections (i.e., moniliasis), headache, back pain, joint pain, urinary tract infections and high blood pressure.
Rarer Side Effects
- About one percent of patients receiving Remicade to treat psoriatic arthritis experienced a rash. Fewer than 0.2 percent of patients have experienced swelling, herniated diaphragm, tingling in their hands and feet, dizziness, dehydration, heart attacks, confusion, irregular menstruation, breathing difficulties, sweating and swollen lymph nodes. In 3.9 percent of patients being treated for a psoriatic disorder with the highest dose of 5 mg of medication per kilogram of body weight, at least one common or rare side effect was serious enough to require hospitalization, cause long-term disability or cause death.
Serious Infection Warning
- The prescribing information for Remicade opens with a bolded, boxed warning about patients' risk for developing potentially life-threatening opportunistic bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Remicade suppresses the activity of patients' immune systems, so patients need to let their doctors know if they have any cuts, scrapes or mild illnesses before receiving a Remicade injection. An update to the opportunistic infection warning posted to the Medline Plus factsheet for infliximab---the active ingredient in Remicade---cautions doctors to monitor patients particularly closely for fungal infections.
- Remicade injections have been associated with the development of cancers, particularly the immune system cancer T-cell lymphoma. Also, Remicade has, rarely, killed off healthy blood cells (e.g., thrombocytopenia) and damaged patients' optic nerves.
Patients can also have severe allergic reactions to Remicade injections, suffering swollen throats and seizures within three hours of administration of the medication.
- Patients with moderate or severe heart failure cannot receive Remicade injections because the medication can worsen the heart condition. Also, anyone who is allergic to mice cannot receive Remicade because the medication is bioengineered using cellular materials extracted from mice.