Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Your FAQs about REMICADE® treatment are answered here.
- What is the goal of treating moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC), in patients who have not responded well enough to other therapies, with REMICADE® ?
- Is REMICADE® right for me?
- How is REMICADE® administered and how often do I take it?
- Has REMICADE® been widely used?
- What should I know about serious side effects?
- What should I watch out for?
- Is REMICADE® covered by insurance?
What is the goal of treating moderately to severely active UC in adult patients who have not responded well enough to other therapies, with REMICADE® ?
REMICADE® offers proven symptom relief and provides lasting remission. Additionally, REMICADE® is proven to heal the damage to the intestinal lining caused by UC and helps eliminate steroid use. Individual results may vary.
Is REMICADE® right for me?
Only your doctor or healthcare provider can decide if REMICADE® is right for you. If the decision is made to put you on REMICADE®, you may experience control over your symptoms and healing of the intestinal lining, with as few as 6 treatments a year. That's 1 treatment every 8 weeks after the first 3 starter doses given at 0, 2, and 6 weeks. You will remain on maintenance therapy, which is every 8 weeks.
How is REMICADE® administered and how often do I take it?
REMICADE® is administered as a 2-hour IV infusion so that it goes right into your bloodstream to get to work. Your healthcare professional will carefully calculate and customize the right dose based on your body weight. After the first 3 starter doses given at 0, 2, and 6 weeks, you will remain on maintenance therapy, which is given every 8 weeks. That could be as few as 6 times a year.
Has REMICADE® been widely used?
REMICADE® has been used to treat 1.8 million people worldwide with inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis. Its safety profile has been evaluated in clinical trials conducted over the past 18 years. REMICADE® is not for everyone. Talk to your doctor to see if REMICADE® is right for you.
Why should I stay on REMICADE® therapy even when I’m feeling better?
Studies show that more patients treated on a regular 8-week schedule were able to maintain remission (periods of little or no symptoms) at 1 year—and also experienced fewer complications associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). By maintaining your schedule on REMICADE®, you can maintain your remission.
What happens if I stop taking REMICADE® and then decide to go back on therapy?
When you stop taking REMICADE® and then start again, your body may react by developing antibodies against REMICADE®. This makes it difficult to start therapy again without a decrease in effectiveness.
What should I know about serious side effects?
What should I watch out for?
You should discuss any questions or concerns about your health with your doctor. Please read the Important Safety Information and the Medication Guide for REMICADE®, which includes the most common and the most serious side effects, related symptoms, and when to talk to your doctor or seek medical care. If you seek medical care from a healthcare professional other than the doctor who prescribed REMICADE®, it is important to let them know about your medical history and any current medications, including REMICADE®.
Is REMICADE® covered by insurance?
REMICADE® is covered by most insurance plans, including commercial insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid. Coverage policies may vary by insurer or even between plans offered by the same insurer. If you have any questions about insurance coverage or reimbursement, you should first call your insurance company or Medicare. If you have questions or concerns, or if you need additional information related to medical coverage or patient assistance for REMICADE®, you may call AccessOne® at 1-888-ACCESS-1 (1-888-222-3771), Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.
For more information about these and other serious side effects, please read the Important Safety Information and the Medication Guide for REMICADE®, and discuss them with your doctor. The most common side effects of REMICADE® include: respiratory infections, headache, rash, coughing, and stomach pain.
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 a prescription medication used to treat:Crohn's Disease
- Can reduce signs and symptoms and induce and maintain remission in adult patients with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease who haven't responded well to other therapies
- Can reduce signs and symptoms and induce and maintain remission in children (ages 6-17) with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease who haven't responded well to other therapies
- Can reduce signs and symptoms, induce and maintain remission, promote intestinal healing, and reduce or stop the need for steroids in adult patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who haven't responded well to other therapies
- Can reduce signs and symptoms and induce and maintain remission in children (ages 6-17) with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who haven’t responded well to other therapies
- Can reduce signs and symptoms, help stop further joint damage, and improve physical function in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, in combination with methotrexate
- Can reduce signs and symptoms of active arthritis, help stop further joint damage, and improve physical function in patients with psoriatic arthritis
- Can reduce signs and symptoms in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis
- Approved for the treatment of adult patients with chronic severe (extensive and/or disabling) plaque psoriasis under the care of a physician who will determine if REMICADE® is appropriate considering other available therapies
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:
- Tuberculosis (TB) or have been near someone who has TB. Your doctor will check you for TB with a skin test. If you have latent (inactive) TB, you will begin TB treatment before you start REMICADE®.
- Lived in a region where certain fungal infections like histoplasmosis or coccidioidomycosis are common.
- Infections that keep coming back, have diabetes or an immune system problem.
- Any type of cancer or a risk factor for developing cancer, for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or had phototherapy for psoriasis.
- Heart failure or any heart condition. Many people with heart failure should not take REMICADE®.
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection or think you may be a carrier of HBV. Your doctor will test you for HBV.
- Nervous system disorders (like multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome).
Also tell your doctor if you:
- Use the medicines Kineret (anakinra), Orencia (abatacept) or Actemra (tocilizumab) or other medicines called biologics used to treat the same problems as REMICADE®.
- Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are breast-feeding, or have a baby and were using REMICADE® during your pregnancy. Tell your baby’s doctor about your REMICADE® use before the baby receives any vaccine because of an increased risk of infection for up to 6 months after your last dose of REMICADE® you received during your pregnancy.
- Recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. Adults and children taking REMICADE® should not receive live vaccines or treatment with a weakened bacteria (such as BCG for bladder cancer) while taking REMICADE®.
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:
- Infections (like TB, blood infections, pneumonia)—fever, tiredness, cough, flu, or warm, red or painful skin or any open sores. REMICADE® can make you more likely to get an infection or make any infection that you have worse.
- Lymphoma, or any other cancers in adults and children.
- Skin cancer—any changes in or growths on your skin.
- Heart failure—new or worsening symptoms, such as shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, or sudden weight gain.
- Reactivation of HBV—feeling unwell, poor appetite, tiredness, fever, skin rash and/or joint pain.
- Liver injury—jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), dark brown urine, right-sided abdominal pain, fever, or severe tiredness.
- Blood disorders—fever that doesn’t go away, bruising, bleeding or severe paleness.
- Nervous system disorders—numbness, weakness, tingling, changes in your vision or seizures.
- Allergic reactions during or after the infusion—hives, difficulty breathing, chest pain, high or low blood pressure, swelling of face and hands, and fever or chills.
- Lupus-like syndrome—chest discomfort or pain that does not go away, shortness of breath, joint pain, rash on the cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun.
- Psoriasis—new or worsening psoriasis such as red scaly patches or raised bumps on the skin that are filled with pus.
The more common side effects with REMICADE® are respiratory infections (that may include sinus infections and sore throat), headache, rash, coughing and stomach pain.
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.