Infliximab (REMICADE®, INFLECTRA®, AVSOLA®, RENFLEXIS®): everything there is to know!
Published Dec 22, 2023 • By Carenity Editorial Team
Infliximab, the active substance of many medicines, is a monoclonal antibody that belongs to the family of immunosuppressants, drugs that act on the immune system. Infliximab-based medicines include REMICADE®, INFLECTRA®, AVSOLA®, and RENFLEXIS®. For these treatments, there are a number of precautions you should take.
These drugs are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, psoriasis and many other inflammatory diseases.
What are the therapeutic indications for infliximab? How is this treatment administered? What are the precautions for its use and its side effects?
Find all the answers in our article!
What is infliximab? What conditions is it prescribed for?
Infliximab is a monoclonal antibody. It is a large molecule created through biotechnology, and belonging to the family of biological response modifiers.
More specifically, the role of infliximab is to inhibit TNF alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha), a so-called pro-inflammatory protein responsible for inflammation.
It is indicated in the treatment of certain subtypes of the following diseases (generally as a second-line treatment and, possibly, in combination with other medications):
- Crohn's disease,
- Takayasu arteritis,
- Rheumatoid arthritis,
- Ulcerative colitis,
- Psoriatic arthritis,
- Ankylosing spondylitis.
REMICADE®, INFLECTRA®, AVSOLA® and RENFLEXIS® come as a powder for infusion, and are dispensed in hospitals or doctor's offices.
How is infliximab administered? What precautions should you take?
Treatment with infliximab should be initiated and monitored by a doctor who is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of the above mentioned diseases. Clinical monitoring of the patient is carried out before, during and after treatment.
In order to improve the traceability of biological medicinal products, the brand name and batch number of the product administered must be clearly recorded in the patient's file.
In terms of administration, all the different forms of infliximab (REMICADE®, INFLECTRA®, AVSOLA®, RENFLEXIS®) are administered by intravenous injection over 1 to 2 hours.
The dosage depends on the patient's age, their weight and the condition they are treated for. The maximum dose must not be exceeded and the treatment must be taken at a specific time.
Infliximab should not be prescribed for patients with abscesses, hypersensitivity to any of the components, active infection (moderate to severe sepsis or tuberculosis), or moderate to severe heart failure.
What are the most frequent side effects of infliximab?
Infliximab is generally safe and well-tolerated, but as with any drug of this type, there exists a risk of side effects.
The most common side effects of infliximab are upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis or viral infections (e.g. influenza) due to the fact that this drug affects the immune system. Headaches, abdominal pain, nausea associated with infusion are also frequent side effects.
If you have any questions about the compatibility of infliximab with other medications or certain everyday activities - such as dental treatment, surgery or even holidays abroad - you should discuss this with your doctor.
In addition, all doctors, apart from the prescribing doctor, must be informed if you are treated with infliximab because, as with most medicines, there is a risk of drug interactions.
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Remicade, INN-infliximab, https://ec.europa.eu/
Substance active infliximab, Vidal
Gamme de médicament REMICADE, Vidal
Gamme de médicaments REMSIMA, Vidal
REMICADE 100 mg, poudre pour solution à diluer pour perfusion, Base de données publique des médicaments
Infliximab, National Library of Medicine