How REMICADE® works
Your immune system works around the clock to protect you from bacteria, viruses, and other foreign agents. When you have ulcerative colitis (UC), your immune system becomes overactive and produces excess amounts of a protein called tumor necrosis factor-alpha, or TNF-alpha.
Excess amounts of TNF-alpha cause your immune system to mistakenly attack healthy cells in your gastrointestinal tract. This leads to the inflammation you experience as the symptoms of UC. REMICADE® has been shown to block the action of TNF-alpha, inhibiting the underlying causes of inflammation.
See how REMICADE® works in the illustration below:
REMICADE® is not right for everyone.
How REMICADE® is given
REMICADE® is a prescription medication given by intravenous (IV) infusion
If your doctor decides REMICADE® is right for you, each dose will be given as an IV infusion by a healthcare professional. This means it goes directly into the bloodstream where it can get to work. You will receive REMICADE® at either your doctor’s office or a treatment center. The infusion takes about 2 hours. Your doctor may decide to give you medication before starting the REMICADE® infusion to prevent or reduce side effects.
While you are receiving your REMICADE® infusion, a healthcare professional will always be close by to monitor you for side effects, and to see how well you respond to the treatment.
During your infusion, you’re free to relax, read, listen to music, use your laptop, or even take a nap.
REMICADE® is nonsedating so you should be able to continue with your normal schedule but check with your doctor first, especially if you received
other medications as part of your treatment.
REMICADE® is the only biologic to require as few as 6 treatments a year after 3 starter doses given at 0, 2, and 6 weeks. After the 3 starter doses, you will remain on maintenance therapy, which is just once every 8 weeks.
Customized dosing based on body weight
Before each infusion, your doctor will calculate the right amount of medication for you, based on your weight.
How should I receive REMICADE®?
- You will be given REMICADE® through a needle placed in a vein (IV, or intravenous infusion) in your arm
- Your doctor may decide to give you medicine before starting the REMICADE® infusion to prevent or reduce side effects
- Only a healthcare professional should prepare the medicine and administer it to you
- REMICADE® will be given to you over a period of about 2 hours
- If you have side effects from REMICADE®, the infusion may need to be adjusted or stopped. In addition, your healthcare professional may decide to treat your symptoms
- A healthcare professional will monitor you during the REMICADE® infusion and for a period of time afterward for side effects. Your doctor may do certain tests while you are taking REMICADE® to monitor you for side effects and to see how well you respond to the treatment
- Your doctor will determine the right dose of REMICADE® for you and how often you should receive it. Make sure to discuss with your doctor when you will receive infusions and to come in for all your infusions and follow-up appointments
Remember: If you have any questions or changes in your health status at any point during the infusion process, be sure to discuss them with the healthcare professional overseeing your treatment. This summary is a general example of how infusion treatments may occur. Your infusion treatment may differ based on your healthcare provider.
REMICADE® can lower your ability to fight infections. Serious and sometimes fatal events can occur. There have been reports of serious infections including tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that have spread throughout the body. Lymphoma, including a fatal kind called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, and other cancers have been reported in children and adults taking REMICADE®. Some people with heart failure should not take REMICADE®. Other serious side effects reported include skin cancer, hepatitis B, liver injury, blood problems, allergic reactions, nervous system problems, or lupus-like syndrome. To learn more about these and other risks, please read the Important Safety Information and the Medication Guide , and talk with your doctor.