Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet.
The original can be viewed in PDF format using the link above.
The text only version may be available from RNIB in large print, Braille or audio CD.
For further information call RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line on 0800 198 5000.
The product code(s) for this leaflet are: EU/1/99/116/001, EU/1/99/116/002, EU/1/99/116/003, EU/1/99/116/004, EU/1/99/116/005.
Remicade® 100 mg powder for concentrate for solution for infusion
- Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
- Your doctor will also give you a Patient Alert Card, which contains important safety information you need to be aware of before and during your treatment with Remicade.
- If you have any further questions, ask your doctor.
- This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
- If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
1. What Remicade is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you use Remicade
3. How Remicade will be given
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Remicade
6. Contents of the pack and other information
Remicade contains the active substance infliximab. Infliximab is a monoclonal antibody – a type of protein that attaches to a specific target in the body called TNF (tumour necrosis factor) alpha.
Remicade belongs to a group of medicines called ‘TNF blockers’. It is used in adults for the following inflammatory diseases:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis (Bechterew’s disease)
Remicade is also used in adults and children 6 years of age or older for:
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis.
Remicade works by selectively attaching to TNF alpha and blocking its action. TNF alpha is involved in inflammatory processes of the body so blocking it can reduce the inflammation in your body.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints. If you have active rheumatoid arthritis you will first be given other medicines. If these medicines do not work well enough, you will be given Remicade which you will take in combination with another medicine called methotrexate to:
- Reduce the signs and symptoms of your disease
- Slow down the damage in your joints
- Improve your physical function.
Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints, usually accompanied by psoriasis. If you have active psoriatic arthritis you will first be given other medicines. If these medicines do not work well enough, you will be given Remicade to:
- Reduce the signs and symptoms of your disease
- Slow down the damage in your joints
- Improve your physical function.
Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease of the spine. If you have ankylosing spondylitis you will first be given other medicines. If these medicines do not work well enough, you will be given Remicade to:
- Reduce the signs and symptoms of your disease
- Improve your physical function.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease of the skin. If you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, you will first be given other medicines or treatments, such as phototherapy. If these medicines or treatments do not work well enough, you will be given Remicade to reduce the signs and symptoms of your disease.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease of the bowel. If you have ulcerative colitis you will first be given other medicines. If these medicines do not work well enough, you will be given Remicade to treat your disease.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease of the bowel. If you have Crohn’s disease you will first be given other medicines. If these medicines do not work well enough, you will be given Remicade to:
- Treat active Crohn’s disease
- Reduce the number of abnormal openings (fistulae) between your bowel and your skin that have not been controlled by other medicines or surgery.
- You are allergic to infliximab or to any of the other ingredients in Remicade (listed in section 6).
- You are allergic (hypersensitive) to proteins that come from mice.
- You have tuberculosis (TB) or another serious infection such as pneumonia or sepsis.
- You have heart failure that is moderate or severe.
Do not use Remicade if any of the above applies to you. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor before you are given Remicade.
Talk to your doctor before you are given Remicade if you have:
Had treatment with Remicade before
- Tell your doctor if you have had treatment with Remicade in the past and are now starting Remicade treatment again.
If you have had a break in your Remicade treatment of more than 16 weeks, there is a higher risk for allergic reactions when you start the treatment again.
- Tell your doctor before you are given Remicade if you have an infection even if it is a very minor one.
- Tell your doctor before you are given Remicade if you have ever lived in or travelled to an area where infections called histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis are common. These infections are caused by specific types of fungi that can affect the lungs or other parts of your body.
- You may get infections more easily when you are being treated with Remicade. If you are 65 or older, you have a greater risk.
- These infections may be serious and include tuberculosis, infections caused by viruses, fungi, bacteria, or other organisms in the environment and sepsis that may be life-threatening.
Tell your doctor straight away if you get signs of infection during treatment with Remicade. Signs include fever, cough, flu-like signs, feeling unwell, red or hot skin, wounds or dental problems. Your doctor may recommend temporarily stopping Remicade.
- It is very important that you tell your doctor if you have ever had TB or if you have been in close contact with someone who has had or has TB.
- Your doctor will test you to see if you have TB. Cases of TB have been reported in patients treated with Remicade, even in patients who have already been treated with medicines for TB. Your doctor will record these tests on your Patient Alert Card.
- If your doctor feels that you are at risk for TB, you may be treated with medicines for TB before you are given Remicade.
Tell your doctor straight away if you get signs of TB during treatment with Remicade. Signs include persistent cough, weight loss, feeling tired, fever, night sweats.
Hepatitis B virus
- Tell your doctor before you are given Remicade if you are a carrier of hepatitis B or have ever had it.
- Tell your doctor if you think you might be at risk of contracting hepatitis B.
- Your doctor should test you for hepatitis B virus.
- Treatment with TNF blockers such as Remicade may result in reactivation of hepatitis B virus in patients who carry this virus, which can be life-threatening in some cases.
- Tell your doctor if you have any heart problems, such as mild heart failure.
- Your doctor will want to closely monitor your heart.
Tell your doctor straight away if you get new or worsening signs of heart failure during treatment with Remicade. Signs include shortness of breath or swelling of your feet.
Cancer and lymphoma
- Tell your doctor before you are given Remicade if you have or have ever had lymphoma (a type of blood cancer) or any other cancer.
- Patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis, who have had the disease for a long time, may be at higher risk of developing lymphoma.
- Children and adults taking Remicade may have an increased risk of developing lymphoma or another cancer.
- Some patients who have received TNF-blockers, including Remicade have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. Of these patients, most were teenage boys or young men and most had either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. This type of cancer has usually resulted in death. Almost all patients had also received medicines containing azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine in addition to TNF-blockers.
- Some patients treated with infliximab have developed certain kinds of skin cancer. If there are any changes in your skin or growths on the skin during or after therapy, tell your doctor.
- Some women being treated for rheumatoid arthritis with Remicade have developed cervical cancer. For women taking Remicade including those over 60 years of age, your doctor may recommend regular screening for cervical cancer.
Lung disease or heavy smoking
- Tell your doctor before you are given Remicade if you have a lung disease called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or if you are a heavy smoker.
- Patients with COPD and patients who are heavy smokers may have a higher risk of developing cancer with Remicade treatment.
Nervous system disease
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a problem that affects your nervous system before you are given Remicade. This includes multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, if you have fits or have been diagnosed with ‘optic neuritis’.
Tell your doctor straight away if you get symptoms of a nerve disease during treatment with Remicade. Signs include changes in your vision, weakness in your arms or legs, numbness or tingling in any part of your body.
Abnormal skin openings
- Tell your doctor if you have any abnormal skin openings (fistulae) before you are given Remicade.
- Talk to your doctor if you recently have had or are due to have a vaccine.
- You should receive recommended vaccinations before starting Remicade treatment. You may receive some vaccines during treatment with Remicade but you should not receive live vaccines (vaccines that contain a living but weakened infectious agent) while using Remicade because they may cause infections.
- If you received Remicade while you were pregnant, your baby may also be at higher risk for getting an infection with live vaccines for up to six months after birth. It is important that you tell your baby's doctors and other healthcare professionals about your Remicade use so they can decide when your baby should receive any vaccine, including live vaccines such as BCG (used to prevent tuberculosis). For more information see section on Pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Therapeutic infectious agents
- Talk to you doctor if you have recently received or are scheduled to receive treatment with a therapeutic infectious agent (such as BCG instillation used for the treatment of cancer).
Operations or dental procedures
- Tell your doctor if you are going to have any operations or dental procedures.
- Tell your surgeon or dentist that you are having treatment with Remicade by showing them your Patient Alert Card.
The information above also applies to children and adolescents. In addition:
- Some children and teenage patients who have received TNF-blockers such as Remicade have developed cancers, including unusual types, which sometimes resulted in death.
- More children taking Remicade developed infections as compared to adults.
- Children should receive recommended vaccinations before starting Remicade treatment. Children may receive some vaccines during treatment with Remicade but should not receive live vaccines while using Remicade.
If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor before you are given Remicade.
Patients who have inflammatory diseases already take medicines to treat their problem. These medicines may cause side effects. Your doctor will advise you what other medicines you must keep using while you are having Remicade.
Tell your doctor if you are using or have recently used any other medicines, including any other medicines to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis or medicines obtained without a prescription, such as vitamins and herbal medicines.
In particular, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following medicines:
- Medicines that affect your immune system.
- Kineret (anakinra). Remicade and Kineret should not be used together.
- Orencia (abatacept). Remicade and Orencia should not be used together.
While using Remicade you should not receive live vaccines. If you were using Remicade during pregnancy, tell your baby’s doctor and other healthcare professionals caring for your baby about your Remicade use before the baby receives any vaccines.
If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using Remicade.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor for advice before taking this medicine. Remicade should only be used during pregnancy if your doctor feels it is necessary for you.
- You should avoid getting pregnant when you are being treated with Remicade and for 6 months after you stop being treated with it. Discuss the use of contraception during this time with your doctor.
- Do not breast-feed when you are being treated with Remicade or for 6 months after your last treatment with Remicade.
- If you received Remicade during your pregnancy, your baby may have a higher risk for getting an infection.
- It is important that you tell your baby’s doctors and other healthcare professionals about your Remicade use before your baby is given any vaccine. If you received Remicade while pregnant, giving BCG vaccine (used to prevent tuberculosis) to your baby within 6 months after birth may result in infection with serious complications, including death. Live vaccines such as BCG should not be given to your baby within 6 months after birth. For more information see section on vaccination.
- Severely decreased numbers of white blood cells have been reported in infants born to women treated with Remicade during pregnancy. If your baby has continual fevers or infections, contact your baby’s doctor immediately.
Remicade is not likely to affect your ability to drive or use tools or machines. If you feel tired, dizzy, or unwell after having Remicade, do not drive or use any tools or machines.
Remicade contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, that is to say essentially ‘sodium-free’. However, before Remicade is given to you, it is mixed with a solution that contains sodium. Talk to your doctor if you are on a low salt diet.
The usual dose is 3 mg for every kg of body weight.
The usual dose is 5 mg for every kg of body weight.
- Remicade will be given to you by your doctor or nurse.
- Your doctor or nurse will prepare the medicine for infusion.
- The medicine will be given as an infusion (drip) (over 2 hours) into one of your veins, usually in your arm. After the third treatment, your doctor may decide to give your dose of Remicade over 1 hour.
- You will be monitored while you are given Remicade and also for 1 to 2 hours afterwards.
- The doctor will decide your dose and how often you will be given Remicade. This will depend on your disease, weight and how well you respond to Remicade.
- The table below shows how often you will usually have this medicine after your first dose.
2nd dose 2 weeks after your 1st dose
3rd dose 6 weeks after your 1st dose
Further doses Every 6 to 8 weeks depending on your disease
Remicade should only be used in children if they are being treated for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. These children must be 6 years of age or older.
As this medicine is being given by your doctor or nurse, it is unlikely that you will be given too much. There are no known side effects of having too much of Remicade.
If you forget or miss an appointment to receive Remicade, make another appointment as soon as possible.
If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor.
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Most side effects are mild to moderate. However some patients may experience serious side effects and may require treatment. Side effects may also occur after your treatment with Remicade has stopped.
- Signs of an allergic reaction such as swelling of your face, lips, mouth or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing, skin rash, hives, swelling of the hands, feet or ankles. An allergic reaction could happen within 2 hours of your injection or later. More signs of an allergic reaction that may happen up to 12 days after your injection include pain in the muscles, fever, joint or jaw pain, sore throat or headache.
- Signs of a heart problem such as chest discomfort or pain, arm pain, stomach pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea, vomiting, fluttering or pounding in your chest, a fast or a slow heartbeat, and/or swelling of your feet.
- Signs of infection (including TB) such as fever, feeling tired, (persistent) cough, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms, weight loss, night sweats, diarrhoea, wounds, dental problems or burning when urinating.
- Signs of a lung problem such as coughing, breathing difficulties or tightness in the chest.
- Signs of a nervous system problem (including eye problems) such as fits, tingling or numbness in any part of your body, weakness in arms or legs, changes in eyesight such as double vision or other eye problems.
- Signs of a liver problem such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark-brown coloured urine or pain in the upper right side of the stomach area, fever.
- Signs of an immune system disorder called lupus such as joint pain or a rash on cheeks or arms that is sensitive to the sun.
- Signs of a low blood count such as persistent fever, bleeding or bruising more easily or looking pale.
Tell your doctor straight away if you notice any of the above.
Very common side effects (affects more than 1 patient in 10)
- Stomach pain, feeling sick
- Viral infections such as herpes or flu
- Upper respiratory infections such as sinusitis
- Side effect due to an infusion
Common side effects (affects 1 to 10 patients in 100)
- Changes in how your liver works, increase in liver enzymes (shown in blood tests)
- Lung or chest infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- Difficult or painful breathing, chest pain
- Bleeding in the stomach or intestines, diarrhoea, indigestion, heartburn, constipation
- Nettle-type rash (hives), itchy rash or dry skin
- Balance problems or feeling dizzy
- Fever, increased sweating
- Circulation problems such as low or high blood pressure,
- Bruising, hot flush or nosebleed, warm, red skin (flushing)
- Feeling tired or weak
- Bacterial infections such as blood poisoning, abscess or infection of the skin (cellulitis)
- Blood problems such as anaemia or low white blood cell count
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Depression, problems sleeping
- Eye problems, including red eyes and infections
- Fast heart beat (tachycardia) or palpitations
- Pain in the joints, muscles or back
- Urinary tract infection
- Psoriasis, skin problems such as eczema and hair loss
- Reactions at the injection site such as pain, swelling, redness or itching
- Chills, a build up of fluid under the skin causing swelling
- Feeling numb or having a tingling feeling.
Uncommon side effects (affects 1 to 10 patients in 1,000)
- Shortage of blood supply, swelling of a vein
- Skin problems such as blistering, warts, abnormal skin colouration or pigmentation, or swollen lips
- Severe allergic reactions (e.g. anaphylaxis), an immune system disorder called lupus, allergic reactions to foreign proteins
- Wounds taking longer to heal
- Swelling of the liver (hepatitis) or gall bladder, liver damage
- Feeling forgetful, irritable, confused, nervous
- Eye problems including blurred or reduced vision, puffy eyes or sties
- New or worsening heart failure, slow heart rate
- Convulsions, nerve problems
- A hole in the bowel or blockage of the intestine, stomach pain or cramps
- Swelling of your pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Fungal infections such as yeast infection
- Lung problems (such as oedema)
- Fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion)
- Kidney infections
- Low platelet count, too many white blood cells
- Infections of the vagina.
Rare side effects (affects 1 to 10 patients in 10,000)
- A type of blood cancer (lymphoma)
- Your blood not supplying enough oxygen to your body, circulation problems such as narrowing of a blood vessel
- Inflammation of the lining of the brain (meningitis)
- Infections due to a weakened immune system
- Hepatitis B infection when you have had hepatitis B in the past
- Abnormal tissue swelling or growth
- Swelling of small blood vessels (vasculitis)
- Immune disorders that could affect the lungs, skin and lymph nodes (such as sarcoidosis).
- Lack of interest or emotion
- Serious skin problems such as toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or erythema multiforme, skin problems such as boils
- Serious nervous system disorders such as transverse myelitis, multiple sclerosis-like disease, optic neuritis and Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Fluid in the lining of the heart (pericardial effusion)
- Serious lung problems (such as interstitial lung disease)
- Melanoma (a type of skin cancer)
- Cervical cancer
- Low blood counts, including a severely decreased number of white blood cells.
- Cancer in children and adults
- A rare blood cancer affecting mostly young males (hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma)
- Liver failure
- Merkel cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer)
- Worsening of a condition called dermatomyositis (seen as a skin rash accompanying muscle weakness)
- Temporary loss of sight during or within 2 hours of infusion
- The use of a ‘live’ vaccine may result in an infection caused by the ‘live’ viruses or bacteria contained in the vaccine (when you have a weakened immune system).
Children who took Remicade for Crohn’s disease showed some differences in side effects compared with adults who took Remicade for Crohn's disease. The side effects that happened more in children were: low red blood cells (anaemia), blood in stool, low white blood cells (leucopenia), redness or blushing (flushing), viral infections, low neutrophils which are white blood cells that fight infection (neutropenia), bone fracture, bacterial infection and allergic reactions of the breathing tract.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
Remicade will generally be stored by the health professionals. The storage details should you need them are as follows:
- Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
- Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the label and the carton after “EXP”. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
- Store in a refrigerator (2 °C - 8 °C).
- This medicine can also be stored in the original carton outside of refrigerated storage up to a maximum of 25 °C for a single period of up to six months, but not beyond the original expiry date. In this situation, do not return to refrigerated storage again. Write the new expiry date on the carton including day/month/year. Discard this medicine if not used by the new expiry date or the expiry date printed on the carton, whichever is earlier.
- It is recommended that when Remicade is prepared for infusion, it is used as soon as possible (within 3 hours). However, if the solution is prepared in germ-free conditions, it can be stored in a refrigerator at 2 °C to 8 °C up to 28 days and for an additional 24 hours at 25 °C after removal from the refrigerator.
- Do not use this medicine if it is discoloured or if there are particles present.
- The active substance is infliximab. Each vial contains 100 mg of infliximab. After preparation each ml contains 10 mg of infliximab
- The other ingredients are sucrose, polysorbate 80, monobasic sodium phosphate and dibasic sodium phosphate.
Remicade is supplied as a glass vial containing a powder for concentrate for solution for infusion. The powder is a freeze-dried white pellet.
Remicade is produced in packs of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 vials. Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Janssen Biologics B.V.
2333 CB Leiden
For any information about this medicine, please contact the local representative of the Marketing Authorisation Holder:
Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 1992 467272
This leaflet was last revised in July 2018.
Other sources of information
Detailed information on this medicine is available on the European Medicines Agency web site: http://www.ema.europa.eu.