Remicade is a medication that is used to treat adults with moderate Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis disease. Your doctor has decided to treat you with Remicade because your disease is still active even though you have tried other treatments.
The medicine Remicade is a type of protein that recognizes, attaches to and blocks the action of a substance in your body called tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). TNF-alpha is a natural substance made by certain blood cells in your body. TNF-alpha delivers messages between cells in your body, but too much TNF-alpha can cause your immune system to attack healthy tissues in your body and cause inflammation. There is no cure for Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis, but blocking TNF-alpha with Remicade can reduce inflammation. You should also know that by blocking TNF-alpha, Remicade can reduce your immune system's ability to fight infection.
The immune system protects the body by responding to invading material like bacteria, viruses and other foreign matter by producing antibodies and putting them into action to fight off the "invaders". In both Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis, your body's immune system produces too much TNF-alpha as part of your immune system's response. Too much TNF-alpha can cause inflammation and if left untreated can cause permanent damage to the body's bones, cartilage and tissues.
Taking Remicade can block TNF-alpha that causes inflammation but it can also lower your immune system's ability to fight off infections. So taking Remicade can make you more prone to getting infections or can make an existing infection worse. You should call your doctor right away if you think you have an infection.
You should not take Remicade if you have:
Before receiving your first treatment with Remicade you should tell your doctor if you:
Remicade, like other medicines that affect your immune system, is a strong medicine that can cause serious side effects. Possible serious side effects include:
The most common side effects of Remicade are respiratory infections (such as bronchitis, sinus infections, cold, sore throat, coughing, nausea, stomach pain, upset stomach, back pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, tiredness, itchiness and urinary tract infections.
The most common reasons that patients have stopped treatment are shortness of breath, rash and headache. As described above, sometimes these side effects can be serious and may require other treatment.
Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications before starting Remicade and while taking Remicade. Also, tell your doctor if you plan to take other medications.
G.I. Medicine administers Remicade inthe infusion room. Remicade will be given to you by a medical or health care professional. Remicade will be given to you by an intravenous infusion (IV). This means that the medicine will be given to you through a needle placed in your arm. It will take about 2 to 6 hours to give you the full dose of medicine. During that time and for a period after you receive Remicade, you will be monitored by a health care professional. Your doctor may ask you to take other medicines along with Remicade.
If you have any questions or problems, always talk first with your doctor. You can also visit the Remicade internet site at www.remicade.com