- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: infliximab
Brand Name: Remicade
Drug Class: DMARDs, TNF Inhibitors, Monoclonal Antibodies
What is infliximab, and what is it used for?
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
- Crohn's disease,
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- ankylosing spondylitis, and
- psoriatic arthritis.
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.
Infliximab is approved for use alone or combined with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) for treating moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.
Infliximab is used for reducing the signs and symptoms of inflammation in moderate to severe Crohn's disease and Crohn's disease in which there are fistulas (passageways created when the inflammation penetrates beyond the wall of the intestine).
It also is approved for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis. Infliximab is helpful in reducing the joint inflammation of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis.
It also has been found to be helpful in treating the inflammation of uveitis and sarcoidosis that is not responding to traditional therapies.
Infliximab is approved for use in pediatric patients with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy.
What are the side effects of infliximab?
Infliximab should be discontinued if serious reactions occur. Serious infections have been reported with other drugs that block TNF- alpha, and infections have been reported during treatment with infliximab. Therefore, infliximab should not be used in patients with serious infections. Moreover, infliximab should be discontinued if a serious infection develops during treatment. Testing for tuberculosis (PPD tests for TB) should be doneprior to treatment with infliximab because of reports of reactivation of tuberculosis in patients taking infliximab. Such patients should be treated for tuberculosis.
Decreased white and red blood cell and decreased platelet counts have been reported with infliximab. Vasculitis (inflammation of the arteries) also has been reported.
Patients with Crohn's disease or rheumatoid arthritis, 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 malignant lymphoma. More malignancies have been observed in open-label, uncontrolled clinical studies at a rate several-fold higher than expected in the general population. In controlled studies of TNF-alpha blocking agents, including infliximab, more cases of lymphoma and other malignancies have been observed among patients receiving the agents than among control group patients.
Common side effects
The most common side effects of infliximab include:
- upper respiratory tract infections,
- urinary tract infections,
- back pain,
- abdominal pain,
- weakness and
Other important side effects include:
- low or high blood pressure,
- chest pain,
- difficulty breathing,
- fever and
Reactions listed above could indicate an allergy to the infliximab. They are more common among patients who develop antibodies to infliximab and are less likely to occur in patients who are taking drugs that suppress the immune system, such as methotrexate.
What is the dosage for infliximab?
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.
Ulcerative colitis, psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis are treated with a 5 mg/kg infusion at 0, 2, and 6 weeks and then 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks.
Ankylosing spondylitis is treated with a 5 mg/kg infusion at 0, 2, and 6 weeks then 5 mg/kg every 6 weeks.
- Attachment Theory: What It Is, Stages & the Different Attachment Styles
- Gentle Parenting: What It Is, Techniques & Discipline
- U.S. Nursing Homes Fail to Report Many Serious Falls, Bedsores: Study
- The Younger You Get Diabetes, the Higher Your Risk for Dementia Later
- FDA Grants Full Approval to Paxlovid to Treat COVID-19
- More Health News »
Which drugs interact with infliximab?
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
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.
Infliximab (Remicade) is a drug prescribed for inflammation of Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis. Side effects, dosing, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis
What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Learn about treatment, diagnosis, and the symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Discover...
Arthritis: Everyday Habits to Ease Inflammation
Chronic inflammation harms your body and raises risk of disease. These everyday lifestyle changes can help lower it.
RA Home Remedies
People try all sorts of things to relieve rheumatoid arthritis pain. WebMD debunks some of the common ones and lets you know what...
Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercises: Joint-Friendly Workouts
Regular exercise boosts fitness and helps reverse joint stiffness for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). WebMD demonstrates...
Tips for Healthy Joints: Exercise, Nutrition, & More
Dealing with joint pain and arthritis? Learn why weight matters--and why NOT to stretch before exercise. See these solutions for...
Types of Psoriasis: Medical Pictures and Treatments
Explore the different types of psoriasis such as plaque psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and scalp psoriasis. Discover what causes...
Ankylosing Spondylitis Quiz: Symptoms & Treatment
What is ankylosing spondylitis? Take this quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this painful disorder.
Arthritis: 16 Bad Habits That Cause Joint Pain
Being overweight, wearing uncomfortable shoes, or carrying a heavy purse can make joint pain and arthritis symptoms worse. Some...
Picture of Uveitis
Uveitis (pronounced you-vee-EYE-tis) involves all inflammatory processes of the middle layers of the eye, also called the uveal...
Arthritis: Supplements for Joint Pain
Can supplements help relieve joint pain and swelling? Find out how certain compounds may aid your stiff, tender joints.
Ankylosing Spondylitis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
What is ankylosing spondylitis (AS)? Ankylosing spondylitis is arthritis of the spine. Learn diet and exercise tips for AS, and...
Arthritis: Reasons Why Your Hips Hurt
You use them to sit, stand, dance, kick, and run. Find out from WebMD's slide show what makes your hips hurt, and what you can do...
Arthritis: Causes and Treatment for Joint Stiffness and Pain
Arthritis and injuries can leave your joints swollen, tender, and damaged. Discover treatments for morning stiffness, sore...
Arthritis: Ways to Ease Hip Pain
Health habits, home remedies, and other ways you can find relief when your hips hurt.
Related Disease Conditions
Which Foods Make Arthritis Worse?
Foods that may worsen arthritis include processed foods, salt, red meat, and alcohol. Check out the center below for more medical references on arthritis, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body.
Arthritis (Joint Inflammation)
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout.
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of the spine. The tendency to develop ankylosing spondylitis is genetically inherited. Treatment incorporates medications, physical therapy, and exercise.
16 Early Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Signs & Symptoms
Early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms and signs vary differently from person to person. The most common body parts that are initially affected by RA include the small joints of the hands, wrists, and feet, and the knees and hip joints. Joint inflammation causes stiffness. Warmth, redness, and pain may vary in degree.
Sarcoidosis, a disease resulting from chronic inflammation, causes small lumps (granulomas) to develop in a wide range of body tissues and can appear in almost any body organ. However, sarcoidosis most often starts in the lungs or lymph nodes.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The intestinal complications of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis differ because of the characteristically dissimilar behaviors of the intestinal inflammation in these two diseases.
Scleritis is inflammation of the white part of the eye. It may be caused by a serious underlying condition, such as an autoimmune disease. Symptoms include redness, pain, tearing, sensitivity to light, and decreased visual acuity. Treatment may include eyedrops as well as treatment for any underlying disease process. Scleritis cannot be prevented.
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect other parts of the digestive system as well. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss are common symptoms and signs.
Osteoarthritis vs. Osteoporosis Differences and Similarities
Arthritis is defined as painful inflammation and joint stiffness. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis and the most common cause of chronic joint pain, affecting over 25 million Americans. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that involves the entire joint. Osteoporosis is not a type of arthritis. It is a disease that mainly is caused by a loss of bone tissue that is not limited to the joint areas. It is possible for one person to have both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. The differences in the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis include; pain, stiffness, and joint swelling, joint deformity, crackle sounds when the joint is moving, and walking with a limp. Osteoporosis is called the "silent disease" because it can progress for years without signs and symptoms before it is diagnosed, severe back pain, bone fractures, height loss, and difficulty or inability to walk. The differences in the causes of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are that osteoarthritis usually is caused by wear and tear on the joints. Osteoporosis usually is caused by one or more underlying problems, for example, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies. Treatment for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are not the same. There is no cure for osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include painful, stiff, and swollen joints, tendinitis, and organ inflammation. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications and exercise.
11 Home Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disorder that progressively affects many parts of the body. Home remedies, diet, and lifestyle changes can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with RA alongside medical treatment. Home remedies alone cannot effectively treat RA or prevent the progression of the disease.
12 Early Signs of Arthritis in Hands
Hand arthritis occurs when there is inflammation in one or more joints of the hand and wrist. A few of the common types of arthritis that affect the hands are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis (arthritis as a result of an injury), psoriatic arthritis and gout.
Relapsing polychondritis is an uncommon, chronic disorder of the cartilage that is characterized by recurrent episodes of inflammation of the cartilage of various tissues of the body. Tissues containing cartilage that can become inflamed include the ears, nose, joints, spine, and windpipe (trachea). Tissues that have a biochemical makeup similar to that of cartilage such as the eyes, heart, and blood vessels, can also be affected. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) is used as treatment for mild cases of the disease. Steroid-related medications also are usually required.
SAPHO syndrome is a chronic disorder that involves the skin, bone, and joints. SAPHO syndrome is an eponym for the combination of synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis. SAPHO syndrome is related to arthritic conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis. Treatment is directed toward the individual symptoms that are present, and includes medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and cortisone medications.
What Foods Trigger Arthritis Attacks?
Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet can help you manage arthritis. Learn which foods to avoid and which foods to eat with arthritis.
Scalp psoriasis causes red, raised, scaly patches that may extend from the scalp to the forehead and the back of the neck and ears. Symptoms and signs include itching, hair loss, flaking, silvery scales, and red plaques. Treatment includes topical medicated shampoos, creams, gels, oils, ointments, and soaps, medications, and light therapy.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Fibromyalgia
Though rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia have similar symptoms, RA is an autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome. RA symptoms include joint redness, swelling, and pain that lasts more than 6 weeks. Fibromyalgia symptoms include widespread pain, tingling feet or hands, depression, and bowel irritability. Home remedies for both include stress reduction, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) affects one child in every thousand annually. There are six types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis depends upon the type the child has and should focus on treating the symptoms.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Arthritis
Arthritis is a general term used to describe joint disease. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of arthritis in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, causing chronic inflammation.
Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD)
Graft versus host disease (GVHD) is a condition that happens when immune cells from transplanted donor tissue attack the recipient's tissues. Signs and symptoms of acute GVHD include enteritis, hepatitis, and dermatitis. Chronic GVHD symptoms and signs include rash, skin discoloration, dry mouth or eyes, jaundice, fatigue, and wheezing, among others. The standard of GVHD treatment is immunosuppressant medications.
What Is Kawasaki Disease?
Kawasaki disease is a rare children's disease characterized by a fever that lasts more than five days and at least four of the following five symptoms are present: rash, swollen neck lymph gland, red tongue, swelling or redness of the hands or feet, and conjunctivitis. High doses of aspirin are used to treat Kawasaki disease. Cortisone and anti-inflammatory drugs may also be used during treatment.
What Foods Worsen Rheumatoid Arthritis?
A diet high in processed foods and sugary drinks has been shown to aggravate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Check out the center below for more medical references on rheumatoid arthritis, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Can Osteoarthritis Be Cured?
Osteoarthritis cannot be cured or reversed; however, effective treatment can reduce its progression and slow down complications.
Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are chronic joint disorders. RA is also an autoimmune disease. OA and RA symptoms and signs include joint pain, warmth, and tenderness. Over-the-counter pain relievers treat both diseases. There are several prescription medications that treat RA.
How Do I Know if My Knee Pain Is Arthritis?
If you have knee pain from arthritis you might notice symptoms including stiffness and swelling, increased pain and swelling in the morning or after sitting, increased pain after activity, 'locking' or 'sticking' of the knee, and weakness or buckling in the knee.
How Do You Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Rash?
Treatment for a rheumatoid arthritis rash focuses on treating the underlying condition and may include topical antibiotics and ointments. Check out the center below for more medical references on rheumatoid arthritis, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What Are the 3 Common Types of Arthritis?
The 3 most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA)
Non-radiographic spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) is an inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects the joints of the spine. Morning stiffness and back pain are the usual symptoms of nr-axSpA. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, and biologics are treatments for nr-axSpA.
How Do I Know If It's Carpal Tunnel or Arthritis?
Carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis have different etiologies; thus, they manifest differently in the hand. Your doctor may subject you to physical examination, radiological tests, and neurological evaluation to diagnose.
What Are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Knees?
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the knees include pain and swelling and weakness of the joint. Check out the center below for more medical references on rheumatoid arthritis, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What Are 5 Common Risk Factors to Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder (the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells). Certain factors increase the risk of RA.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis (Bechterew's Disease)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn's Disease
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Kawasaki Disease
- Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD)
- Behcet's Syndrome
- Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)
- Ankylosing Spondylitis FAQs
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): 17 Warning Signs of Serious Complications
- Will Rheumatoid Arthritis Nodules Go Away?
- Is Inflammatory Arthritis the Same as Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- What if I get COVID-19 with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis
- Can Rituximab Be Taken By Breastfeeding Women With Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- How Does Pregnancy Affect the Course of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- National Arthritis Meeting 2003
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Perspectives:2003 National Meeting
- Arthritis Drugs and New Meds: 2004 Perspectives
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- What Not to Eat When You Have Arthritis
- Can Glucosamine Treat Arthritis?
- What Are the Side Effects of Remicade for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Does Lipitor Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Can My Diet Improve Arthritis?
- What's the Rheumatoid Arthritis Prognosis?
- What Are Home Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Biologics (Biologic Drug Class)
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Monoclonal Antibodies
- dalteparin injection (Fragmin)
- Side Effects of Remicade (infliximab)
- adalimumab (Humira)
- Types of Psoriasis Medications
- Avsola (infliximab-axxq)
- etanercept (Enbrel)
- infliximab-dyyb (Inflectra)
- Types of Arthritis Medications
Prevention & Wellness
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Arthritis Newsletter
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.