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Remicade

What is Remicade

Remicade reduces the effects of a substance in the body called tumor necrosis factor alpha. Tumor necrosis factor alpha is involved in inflammatory processes in the body.

Remicade is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.

Remicade may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

General medical information about Remicade

Serious, even fatal, infections have been reported to occur during treatment with Remicade. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop signs of infection such as fever or chills; sore throat, coughing, congestion or other signs of infection; redness, pain, or swelling of a skin wound; or burning or difficult urination.

Treatment with an immunosuppressant such as Remicade may increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer (e.g., lymphoma). Treatment with Remicade may also increase the risk of developing an autoimmune disorder such as a lupus-like syndrome. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.

What you should discuss with your doctor before using Remicade

Do not use Remicade without first talking to your doctor if you have
- an active infection or a history of recurrent infections; or
- congestive heart failure.

Before using Remicade, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- cancer; or
- an autoimmune disorder such as lupus.

You may not be able to use Remicade, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Remicade is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is unlikely to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use Remicade without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether Remicade passes into breast milk. Do not use Remicade without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should you use Remicade

Since Remicade is given by intravenous infusion, in most cases it will be administered by a healthcare professional. If Remicade is being administered at home, special training will be provided regarding administration. Do not administer Remicade if you are unsure how to properly do so, how much to administer, or how often to administer the medication. Call your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to go over the instructions with you.

Your doctor may perform tests for tuberculosis or other infections before starting treatment with Remicade.

If you are storing Remicade at home, it should be kept in the refrigerator (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 to 8 degrees Celsius). Do not allow the product to freeze and do not use it beyond the expiration date.

If you miss a dose:

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of Remicade.

What happens if you overdose:

Contact your doctor if an overdose of Remicade is suspected. An overdose of Remicade is unlikely to be harmful.

What should you avoid while using Remicade

Remicade can lower the activity of the immune system making you susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses and do not receive "live" vaccines during treatment with Remicade without first talking to your doctor. In addition, avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus can be passed on to you. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop signs of infection.

Possible side effects of Remicade

Serious, even fatal, infections have been reported to occur during treatment with Remicade. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop signs of infection such as fever or chills; sore throat, coughing, congestion or other signs of infection; redness, pain, or swelling of a skin wound; or burning or difficult urination.

Treatment with an immunosuppressant such as Remicade may increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer (e.g., lymphoma). Treatment with Remicade may also increase the risk of developing an autoimmune disorder such as a lupus-like syndrome. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop using Remicade and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or
- chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath.

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Contact your doctor if you develop
- headache;
- muscle or joint pain;
- rash or itching;
- fatigue; or
- nausea or vomiting.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Remicade

Do not receive "live" vaccinations during treatment with Remicade. Administration of a live vaccine may cause an infection or be ineffective during treatment with Remicade.

Other medications may interact with Remicade or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking other prescription or over-the-counter medications, including herbal products, during treatment with Remicade.

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B
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C
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K
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L
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M
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N
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