What is Infliximab?

Infliximab is a targeted disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) that is used to reduce inflammation produced by the body. In certain diseases the immune system is over active, this can target healthy tissues such as joints. Infliximab works on the inflammatory pathway to inhibit proteins called tumour necrosis factors or TNF, reducing the symptoms you get from arthritis such as pain and joint swelling and reduces the chance of further damage to the joints.

Infliximab is known as an anti-TNF biological from its effects, there are other medications in this group such as adalimumab or etanercept.


What is Infliximab used for?

Infliximab is used for the treatments of inflammatory diseases such as:


How is it taken?

Infliximab is taken as an injection into the vein through a drip. This is called a intravenous infusion and is usually given in the rheumatology day unit. It takes around 2 hours to given and you will be monitored throughout and for 1-2 hours after this to make sure you have not developed and side effects.


Medications to prevent a reaction to the drip are given at the same time; these include steroids, paracetamol and anti-histamines.


It is initially given slowly, however if you are managing well it can be given quicker after the 4thdose. This will usually take around an hour in total.


The dose is calculated from your weight and it is given as a loading treatment initially, with infusions at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, it is then given every 8 weeks whilst you remain on the medication.


Infliximab can be given alongside other DMARDs such as methotrexate, or taken on its own.


The infusions can take up to 12 weeks to have an effect. You will require bloods to be taken regularly every 3 months; these can be taken at the day unit. If you are on other medication, you must still attend for blood monitoring for them.


Side effects

There are a few possible side effects that can occur in a small number of people that take infliximab, these include:



Cautions of use

Interactions with other medications

Contraindications of other conditions


During pregnancy and breastfeeding




Useful Links

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