Precautions and Warnings With Infliximab

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Infliximab

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking infliximab include the following:
 
  • The medication can increase your chance of infections, including serious infections. You should not start infliximab if you have an infection (even a skin infection). While taking the drug, tell your healthcare provider if you think you may have any infection. This may not be the best choice for people who get frequent infections.
     
  • In rare cases, the drug has been reported to cause certain conditions of the nervous system, including multiple sclerosis (MS), seizures, epilepsy, and other conditions. It may also make these conditions worse. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking infliximab if you have MS, seizures, or any other nervous system condition.
     
  • In rare cases, infliximab has caused dangerously low blood counts (including aplastic anemia). You should tell your healthcare provider about any unusual bruising, bleeding, or paleness while taking the drug.
     
  • There have been reports of lymphoma (a certain type of cancer) and skin cancer in people taking infliximab. It is not yet known if the medication causes these cancers or not.
     
  • Infliximab can cause certain infections (such as hepatitis B or tuberculosis) that have become inactive in the body to become active again. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had hepatitis B or tuberculosis before starting treatment.
     
  • Allergic reactions can occur with infliximab, including:
 
    • Rashes
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
    • Unusual swelling.
Let your healthcare provider know right away if you think you are having an allergic reaction to infliximab.
  • In studies, people with congestive heart failure (CHF) who took the drug had an increased risk of death. Also, worsening of heart failure and new cases of heart failure in people that did not already have CHF have been reported in people taking infliximab. Talk to your healthcare provider about this specific risk before starting treatment. People with moderate to severe heart failure should not take high doses (see Infliximab Dosing).
     
  • You should not receive live vaccines while taking infliximab. Talk to your healthcare provider before receiving any vaccines while taking the medication.
     
  • In rare cases, infliximab has caused lupus-like conditions. Symptoms may include an unexplained rash across the nose and cheeks (known as a butterfly rash) or ulcers in the mouth or nose.
     
  • Infliximab can cause liver problems, including liver failure and hepatitis. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs of liver damage, such as:
 
    • Dark urine
    • Upper abdominal pain (stomach pain)
    • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.
 
  • Infliximab can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Infliximab).
     
  • Infliximab is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. However, the full risks of using it while pregnant are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Remicade and Pregnancy).
     
  • It is not known if infliximab passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before starting treatment (see Remicade and Breastfeeding).
     
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