Rheumatoid Arthritis - Remicade (cont.)
After the IV bag is empty, the nurse removes the tape that was securing the catheter and then slip out the catheter and that's it! (This is painless.)
What is the dose of a Remicade treatment?
The recommended dose of Remicade for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is 3 mg/kg as a single dose. This means that the amount of each dose is based on the weight of the patient. Therefore, infusions can be more expensive for heavier persons because more Remicade is used. The initial dose should be followed by additional 3 mg/kg doses two and six weeks after the first dose. Thereafter, the maintenance dose is 3 mg/kg every eight weeks.
What are the side effects of Remicade treatment?
The most common side effects of Remicade are:
(While this is the generally reported list, in my experience, rash and headaches have been the more common side effects. Nevertheless, other side effects can occur and more are listed below.)
Side effects shortly after the infusion may include:
These reactions could indicate an allergy to the drug. They are more common among patients who develop antibodies to Remicade and are less likely to occur in patients who are taking drugs that suppress the immune system, such as methotrexate. Remicade is discontinued if serious reactions occur.
Serious infections have been reported with other drugs that block TNF- alpha and infections have been reported during treatment with Remicade. Therefore, Remicade should not be used in patients with serious infections. Moreover, Remicade treatments should be discontinued if a serious infection develops during treatment.
Medically reviewed by Kirkwood Johnston, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Rheumatology
Last Editorial Review: 6/6/2016