Having pediatric Crohn's disease (PCD) doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the fun of being a kid. You don't have to worry about feeling sick all the time. The important thing is to be open and honest, and to discuss how you're feeling with your parents and your doctor. They want to know how your symptoms are affecting you so they can help find the best care and treatment for you.
It can also be helpful to let other adults like your teachers and the school nurse know you have PCD. That way, they'll be prepared to support you when you're not feeling well.
Remember, you can take charge of your disease. Start by learning everything you can about PCD. You'll find valuable information at www.LivingWithCrohnsDisease.com . This Web site has a whole section on PCD, where you can find information on important topics like:
REMICADE® is a type of medicine that works by blocking a protein in your body that causes inflammation in your intestines. This inflammation causes diarrhea, stomach pain, and fever, and also makes you feel tired. Because REMICADE® helps reduce inflammation, and improves the symptoms of PCD.
Only a doctor or nurse can give you REMICADE®. That means you have to go to your doctor's office or a place called an infusion center to get it. They'll hook up an IV infusion to your arm or hand let the medicine drip in, kind of like you've seen on TV.
We know it's kind of unusual to get medicine through an IV. When medicine is infused, it goes straight into your bloodstream and gets to work. Getting an infusion may seem weird at first, but you'll have someone nearby to make sure that everything goes well.
Please read the Medication Guide  for REMICADE® and talk to your parents and your doctor about it.
You'll have at least 2 hours to kick back, relax, listen to the latest tunes, or even do a little schoolwork while you receive your infusion of REMICADE®. So be sure to wear comfortable clothes.
After the 3 starter doses, you will only have to receive REMICADE® once every 8 weeks. That's about every 2 months, or as few as 6 times a year.
Approximately 88% of children (nearly 9 out of 10) experienced symptom improvement as soon as 10 weeks after starting treatment with REMICADE®. And for most of those children, symptom relief lasted for the duration of the study—through 1 year. Talk to your parents and your doctor to see if REMICADE® is right for you.
Having PCD is pretty personal, and although it's not your fault, you probably feel self-conscious about it. Discussing it can be uncomfortable, so you may have trouble talking about it even with your family and closest friends. Or maybe you want to tell everybody so you don't have to worry about keeping it a secret. Whatever decision you make should be the one that you feel most comfortable with.
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Only your doctor can recommend a course of treatment after checking your health condition. REMICADE® (infliximab) can cause serious side effects such as lowering your ability to fight infections. Some patients, especially those 65 years and older, have had serious infections caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria that have spread throughout the body, including tuberculosis (TB) and histoplasmosis. Some of these infections have been fatal. Your doctor should monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with REMICADE®.
Unusual cancers have been reported in children and teenage patients taking TNF-blocker medicines. Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of fatal lymphoma, has occurred mostly in teenage or young adult males with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis who were taking REMICADE® and azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including REMICADE®, the chances of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase.
You should discuss any concerns about your health and medical care with your doctor.
What should I tell my doctor before I take REMICADE®?
You should let your doctor know if you have or ever had any of the following:
Also tell your doctor if you:
What should I watch for and talk to my doctor about before or while taking REMICADE®?
The following serious (sometimes fatal) side effects have been reported in people taking REMICADE®.
You should tell your doctor right away if you have any of the signs listed below:
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.