To help manage Crohn’s disease and enable you to function as normally as possible the Centre for GI Health offers options that reduce the inflammation, and may induce remission.
Infliximab Infusion for Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Infliximab (also called Remicade®) is a medication used in adults to reduce inflammation and induce and maintain remission in individuals with moderate to severe active Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It is often used when other therapies have not worked, but it is not a cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Remicade (Infliximab) is also used in other autoimmune diseases including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis and Plaque Psoriasis.
How is it administered?
Infliximab is given via an IV infusion which requires a day admission to hospital for at least 3 hours. The infusion is given over two hours. Patients may be required to stay for further monitoring. Bring along a book or magazines to keep yourself busy during your admission. Induction therapy will require infusion on weeks 0, 2 and 6 followed by 8 weekly ongoing infusions.
Side effects are uncommon, but may include:
shortness of breath
changes in blood pressure
Many of the side effects will actually disappear when the Infliximab infusion has been ceased.
Infliximab can cause some more serious side effects including:
Increase risk of infections including tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi and bacteria. This is due to the fact the Infliximab is a drug that acts on your immune system lowering the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Please inform your doctor if you have an infection, have any signs of an infection or are recovering from an infection.
Increase risk of unusual cancers and lymphomas. Patients who have been treated for longer periods of time and those with very active Crohn's disease are more likely to develop lymphomas. Some patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis who have been treated with Infliximab have developed a rare type of cancer called Hepatosplenic T-cell Lymphoma. This is more common is teenagers or young male adults. These patients had also been treated with the drugs azathiprine (Imuran) or 6-mercaptopurine.