Biologic Infusion

Infliximab Infusion Therapy
Fight Crohn’s Disease And Ulcerative Colitis.

No Referral Required

Infliximab (aka Remicade or Inflectra) is a prescription medicine that is approved for patients with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. It is administered through an IV over a period of about 2 hours. Your physician will discuss risks with this type of therapy as it can lower your ability to fight infections.

An intravenous (IV) infusion is a medication that enters your blood stream from needle placed in a vein (IV in your arm, rather than a medication that is swallowed). A healthcare professional will always be close by while you receive treatment and for a period of time afterward to monitor for any side effects.

What to Expect

Preparation for Infusion Therapy

Patients are advised to hydrate with water prior to treatment but no changes to your diet are needed unless your physician has specifically instructed you otherwise. Your physician will also order any necessary vaccines or tests before starting this therapy.

You will be seated in a comfortable recliner for 2-3 hours. Many patients read or nap during this time. We have cable television you can watch or bring your favorite DVD to watch. Unfortunately, WI-FI is not available at this time, but you can bring your cell phone and stay connected. Since you will have an IV placed in your arm, knitting or other hobbies that require arm movement or full range of motion are discouraged.

We suggest that you wear loose, comfortable clothing that does not restrict access to your arms/elbows. If you are often chilled, you may want to bring a blanket or a sweater as the infusion room can be a little cool and you will be sitting still for several hours.

No, the infusion will not hurt or burn.

Patients are advised not to have any “live vaccines” prior to beginning treatment or during the course of treatment. The standard influenza injection for flu is acceptable but the nasal spray version is not.

You should notify the office if it is time for an infusion and you have symptoms of an active infection so that you can be evaluated and treated by your primary care physician before the infusion can be administered. We’ll work with you to reschedule the treatment after your infection is over.

Your physician will discuss the risks and possible side effects with you before the treatment is ordered. 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.
  • Hepatitis B -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. The more common side effects with REMICADE are respiratory infections (that may include sinus infections and sore throat), headache, rash, coughing and stomach pain.
  • Psoriasis – new or worsening psoriasis such as red scaly patches or raised bumps on the skin that are filled with pus.

During the Infusion Therapy

There are two phases of treatment, a loading phase and a maintenance phase. During the loading phase there are three infusions over the course of 6 week. The maintenance dose is an infusion every 8 weeks.

No, there are no special diet considerations or other restrictions. We do advise that you increase your daily intake of water so that you are hydrated during the course of treatment.

Of course, you’ll be with us for several hours so feel free to bring a snack or meal to enjoy.

After the Infusion Therapy

Side effects do occasionally happen; we make every effort to carefully review your medical history before prescribing this course of treatment. In addition, you will be monitored closely during the infusion. Depending on your reaction, the therapy may be adjusted or stopped, other medications may be prescribed to counter act side effect symptoms. Additional tests may be performed to see how well you respond to the treatment.

Your doctor will order an annual TB test and evaluate you at every visit.

No, you can continue your normal schedule as advised by your physicians.

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