PREPARATIONS: Powder for intravenous injection, 100 mg
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Because infliximab may reduce the response of the immune system, it should not be administered with vaccines containing live bacteria or viruses. Combining infliximab with anakinra (Kineret), abatacept (Orencia) or tocilizumab (Actemra), drugs that also reduce the response of the immune system, may increase the risk of serious infections.
PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY: Use of infliximab in pregnant women has not been adequately evaluated.
It is not known if infliximab is secreted in breast milk, and, therefore, if there are effects on the nursing infant.
STORAGE: Infliximab should be refrigerated at 2 C - 8 C (36 F - 46 F)
DOSING: Infliximab is administered intravenously. The recommended dose is a 5 mg/kg infusion at 0, 2, and 6 weeks and then 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks for moderate to severe active Crohn's disease or fistulizing Crohn's disease in adult or pediatric patients. Adults who initially responded then lost response may be treated with 10 mg/kg.
The recommended dose for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis is 3 mg/kg at 0, 2, and 6 weeks followed by 3 mg/kg every 8 weeks. Infliximab should be combined with methotrexate. If response is incomplete, up to 10 mg/kg or treating every 4 weeks may be tried.
Ankylosing spondylitis is treated with a 5 mg/kg infusion at 0, 2, and 6 weeks then 5 mg/kg every 6 weeks.
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Infliximab is an antibody administered intravenously that is used for treating several chronic inflammatory diseases. Infliximab works by blocking the effects of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), a substance made by cells of the body which has an important role in promoting inflammation. There are two other injectable drugs that block TNF alpha--adalimumab (Humira) and etanercept (Enbrel). Specifically, infliximab is used for treating the inflammation of
By blocking the action of TNF-alpha, infliximab reduces the signs and symptoms of inflammation. Infliximab does not cure Crohn's disease, psoriatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Infliximab can retard the destruction of joints by rheumatoid arthritis. The FDA approved infliximab in August 1998.
Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
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