How REMICADE® Works
Your immune system works around the clock to protect your body from bacteria, viruses, and other foreign agents. When you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), your immune system becomes overactive and produces excess amounts of a protein called tumor necrosis factor-alpha, or TNF-alpha.
The presence of excess TNF-alpha causes your immune system to mistakenly attack healthy cells in the lining of your joints. This leads to the inflammation or swelling  you experience with RA. REMICADE® has been shown to block the action of TNF-alpha. This inhibits an underlying cause of inflammation.
See how REMICADE® works in the illustration below:
REMICADE® is not for everyone
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.
REMICADE® is given by IV infusion
If your doctor decides REMICADE® is right for you, you'll receive it as an intravenous (IV) infusion from a healthcare professional over a period of no less than 2 hours. REMICADE® is the only medication of its kind to require as few as 6 treatments a year after 3 starter doses. That’s once every 8 weeks.
REMICADE® is given either in your doctor's office or in a treatment center, so someone will always be close by while you receive treatment and for a period of time afterward to monitor you for side effects. And because REMICADE® is infused, it goes directly into your blood stream. After your infusion, you should be able to continue with your normal schedule as advised by your rheumatologist.
Customized dosing based on body weight
Before each infusion, your doctor will calculate the right amount of medication for you, based on your weight and the severity of your RA.
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 lessen 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.
For detailed information about the REMICADE® IV infusion process, please see your healthcare provider.