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INFLIXIMAB (Inflectra) [In-FLIX-i-mab]
How to use this medication
Some people with arthritis have too much TNF. TNF is a protein found in the body that can cause pain and swelling in the joints. Infliximab is a biologic medicine that blocks TNF and helps the pain and swelling of arthritis.
Infliximab is given by intravenous infusion once every 6-8 weeks. The normal dose is based on your body weight.
You will receive an infusion on week 0, week 2, and then week 6. Following this you will receive infusions every 6 to 8 weeks.
Although some patients can feel better quite quickly in others it can take a little longer. Keep taking your medication.
What you need to do
Infliximab can make it harder for you to fight off infections. Call your doctor if:
- You develop a fever
- You think you have an infection
- You are given antibiotics to treat an infection
All patients should have a tuberculosis skin test & chest
x-ray before starting infliximab. Talk to your doctor.
It is important to occasionally have your blood tested while taking infliximab. This is important to keep track of your arthritis and to make sure your blood counts are ok.
Side effects & important things to know
Infliximab should be stopped before surgery. It can be restarted once things have healed and there is no sign of infection. If you are having surgery, talk to your doctor about when to stop the medicine.
Infliximab has not been studied in pregnancy. Let your doctor know if you are planning to get pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.
Infliximab may make a condition called congestive heart failure worse. Tell your doctor if you have congestive heart failure.
Patients have very rarely developed conditions of the nervous system (multiple sclerosis) and the immune system (lupus) while taking medications like infliximab.
Infliximab has very rarely been associated with developing cancer. Tell your doctor if you have had cancer in the past.
When should I call my doctor
- If you feel sick and want to stop
- If you are concerned about any side effects