This site is intended for patients who have been prescribed Remicade (infliximab). If you are a Healthcare Professional then please visit the HCP site, or if you are a member of the public please visit our public site. This site is not a substitute for the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL). The information provided is general education information and does not take place of professional medical advice.


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IBD: The Facts

Human body

Crohn's Disease

Can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus.

Causes inflammation in affected areas.

Healthy sections often found between the inflamed patches.

115 000

 

People in the UK are currently

 

Living with Crohn's disease

Ulcerative Colitis

Only affects the large intestine.

Causes ulcers to develop in the intestine, which may bleed and produce mucus.

Affected areas are continuous; no healthy sections between them.

146 000

 

People in the UK are currently

 

Living with Ulcerative Colitis

Different people are affected by IBD in different ways, but the most common symptoms are:

Diarrhoea Abdominal pain Loss of appetite

Weight loss Tiredness

Generally feeling unwell

Anaemia

Symptoms can change over time. There may be times when you have very few symptoms (a period of ‘remission’) and other times when symptoms are more severe (a ‘relapse’ or ‘flare-up’).

Although there’s no cure for IBD, treatments like Remicade (infliximab) can help people control their symptoms and minimise the impact of IBD on their everyday life.

For more information about IBD and your treatment with Remicade (infliximab), including ways to stay healthy, more top tips and advice on how to tell your friends, download the ‘We’ve got this’ magazine .

Your guide to Remicade (Infliximab)

This section is intended as an educational resource for patients who have been prescribed Remicade (infliximab).

Remicade (infliximab) is a medicine that’s been used to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis for more than 18 years.

Remicade (infliximab) is what’s known as a ‘biological treatment’. It acts on a specific part of your immune system, helping to reduce the inflammation in your digestive system. It can’t be given as tablets because it would get broken down in your stomach – instead, it’s given in hospital as an intravenous (IV) infusion (through a drip into a vein in your arm).

Man climbing stairs

How often will I have treatment?

The first three treatments are fairly close together. After the first one, you have another one two weeks later, and one more four weeks later. This is called the ‘induction phase’.

From then on, you have treatments every 6-8 weeks, depending on your disease.

Week 0
First
Treatment
Week 2
Second
Treatment
Week 6
Third
Treatment
After the first three treatments, you’ll receive Remicade (Infliximab) every 6-8 weeks

What will happen when I go for my treatment?

While you’re in hospital, you’ll be looked after by your nurse. You can ask them any questions and talk about anything that’s worrying you.

You’ll be treated as a day patient – so you won’t need to get into bed or stay overnight. You’ll have the infusion sitting down in a chair.

For the first few infusions, each one will probably take about two hours. You may not have to stay still or remain in the chair – you can spend the time how you like. It’s an ideal time to catch up on your favourite TV series or message your friends.

After the infusion, you’ll have to stay in hospital for an hour or so, to make sure you feel OK. But after that, you’re free to go home and get on with your day.

Life with IBD isn't always easy.
But together, we've got this.

Will I have other treatments alongside Remicade (Infliximab)?

The treatment you have will depend on you and your condition. If your doctor thinks you would benefit from an additional treatment alongside Remicade (infliximab), they’ll discuss it with you first.

Common treatments you might have while on Remicade (infliximab) are:

Steroids

Most people with IBD will be treated with a course of steroids at some point, especially during flare-ups. They are man-made hormones which act on your immune system to reduce inflammation. While steroids are very good at treating the symptoms of a flare-up, they aren’t suitable in the long term. Speak to your IBD team if you have questions about steroids.

Immunosuppressants

Sometimes you may receive Remicade (infliximab) in combination with an immunosuppressant drug, like azathioprine or methotrexate, as this may increase the chance of the treatment being effective. But this isn’t always the case. Your IBD team will discuss the options with you to decide what’s right for you.

When you live with IBD, you live with a lot. But you don't have to face anything alone. Asking for help isn't a weakness - it's a sign of courage. And with the right support, you'll always be on the way up.

Guys in forest


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References

  1. Kanai T et al. Korean J Intern Med 2014; 29(4): 409-15
  2. Olendzki BC et al. Nutr J 2014; 13(5): 1-7.
  3. Brown AC et al. Expert Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol 2011; 5(3): 411-25
  4. Pituch-Zdanowksa A et al. Prz Gastroenterol 2015; 10(3): 135-41.
  5. Oliviero F et al. Swiss Med Wkly 2015; 145: w14190.
  6. Clinton CM et al. Arthritis 2015; 2015: Article ID 708152.
  7. Narula N, Fedorak RN. Can J Gastroenterol 2008; 22 (5): 497-504
  8. Bilski J et al. BioMed Res Int 2014; Volume 2014 (Article ID 429031): 1-14.
  9. Benatti FB, Pedersen BK. Nat Rev Rheumatol 2015; 11: 86-97
  10. Nolte K et al. S Afr Fam Pract 2013; 55: 345-9
  11. Metsios GA et al. Expert Rev Clin Immunol 2015 [Epub ahead of print]
  12. Brophy S et al. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2013; 42: 619-26

Contact

For further information about Remicade (infliximab) please contact our Medical Information Department at:

Medical Information Department

Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd.

Hertford Road

Hoddesdon

Hertfordshire

EN11 9BU

Tel: 01992 467272

E-mail: medicalinformationuk@merck.com