Last Updated 26 Aug 2011
Remicade (rem-ee-cade) is a medicine which is used in a number of conditions. Remicade contains infliximab. It is supplied by Schering-Plough Ltd.
The information in this Medicine Guide for Remicade varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.
Remicade is an immunosuppressant which is used to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and psoriasis. It may be given in combination with other medicines to treat some of these inflammatory conditions. Remicade works by suppressing overactivity of the immune system and helps to reduce pain and swelling by limiting inflammation.
Due to its effects on the immune system, people who have Remicade are prone to getting infections. This includes serious infections such as tuberculosis and sepsis. It is for this reason that people who have Remicade are monitored for infections. Your prescriber will give you further information about how you can best avoid getting an infection and the signs and symptoms to look out for.
Remicade may cause allergic reactions which may be life-threatening. Some of these reactions may be serious and may need to be treated if they occur. To prevent these reactions from happening you may be given some other medicines before you have Remicade. These reactions usually occur during treatment or within hours of having Remicade. However, sometimes these reactions may be delayed as Remicade stays in the body for up to six months and the effects of this medicine will persist for some time after you have your last dose. Your medical team will monitor you for any reactions and advise you of the signs and symptoms to look out for. If you develop any of these symptoms at any time, tell your prescriber.
Other information about Remicade:
As Remicade will be given to you as an injection, it will usually be stored by the medical team.
Remicade is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.
Over time it is possible that Remicade can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Remicade has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.
Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.
Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience.
Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.
If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.
Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.
Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.
Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.
When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.
In the case of Remicade:
You should see how this medicine affects you before you judge whether you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt about whether you should drive or operate machinery, talk to your prescriber.
Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.
In the case of Remicade:
You should discuss your personal circumstances with your doctor if you are pregnant or want to become pregnant. This is so that together you can make a decision about what treatment you may need during your pregnancy.
You should discuss whether there are any other medicines which you could take during pregnancy which would treat your condition.
Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.
In the case of Remicade:
Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. They will help you decide what is best for you and your baby based on the benefits and risks associated with this medicine. If you wish to breast-feed you should discuss with your prescriber whether there are any other medicines you could take which would also allow you to breast-feed. You should not stop this medicine without taking advice from your doctor.
Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. Some may be used to prolong the life of the medicine.
If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Remicade before, do not have Remicade. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.
Remicade, Version 6, last updated 26 Aug 2011