Remicade Side Effects
Remicade side effects will often occur shortly after an individual receives the injection. Flushing, nausea, headache, and back pain are the most commonly experienced symptoms and will usually improve with time. In very rare cases, Remicade (Infliximab) can cause serious side effects such as severe cancers, potentially fatal blood disorders, and serious liver damage. Remicade also increases the risk of infections, including minor infections, serious viral or bacterial infections, and chronic infections that reoccur.
Common Remicade Side Effects
Some individuals report mild side effects following a Remicade injection. These symptoms may include:
- Stomach pain
- Back pain
- Yeast infections in women
- White patches in the mouth
- Runny nose
- Mild skin rash
If any of these side effects of Remicade persist or worsen, contact your doctor.
Serious Remicade Side Effects
Because of the risk of developing lymphoma, skin cancer, or other potentially life threatening conditions from the use of Remicade, it is very important for users to report new or more severe symptoms to their doctor immediately. Possible side effects to look out for include:
- Vision changes or blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden weight gain
- Swelling of the stomach, lower legs, ankles, or feet
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- A rash, particularly on the cheeks or arms, that is exacerbated by the sun
- Numbness or tingling
- Pale skin
- Pus filled bumps
- Red scaly patches
- Pain in the upper right quadrant of the stomach
- Dark colored urine
- Bloody stools
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain or joint pain
One of the most concerning side effects of Remicade is the increased chance of developing infections. Remicade may lower the body’s white blood cell count, reducing its ability to fight off infections. To minimize this risk, individuals who are undergoing treatment with Remicade should avoid contact with people who are sick and should take extra precautions to prevent sickness. Report any signs of infection to your doctor immediately. This includes flu like symptoms, fever, chills, and warmth or redness of the skin.
An allergic reaction to a Remicade injection could be serious if not treated promptly. A reaction can occur shortly after the injection is received, but may not appear until several days after the treatment. In some cases, it may take up to 12 days for an allergic reaction to Remicade to occur. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any side effects that could indicate an allergic reaction. These symptoms include fever, rash, hives, itching, headache, swelling, muscle or joint pain, difficulty swallowing, and/or a sore throat.
Infliximab is classified as a pregnancy category B drug. There is a chance that the use of Remicade during pregnancy could have adverse effects on an unborn child. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor before receiving a Remicade injection. Your physician may suggest other treatment options that carry less of a risk during pregnancy. Remicade may pass through breast milk. If so, it could be dangerous to an infant. This medication is not safe for children under the age of six and should not be used by women who are breastfeeding.
Not everyone should take Remicade. Certain conditions may put individuals at a higher risk of experiencing serious side effects. Patients with open sores, unhealed wounds, or who have recently recovered from an illness or infection should not use Remicade without discussing the possible side effects with their doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor if you currently have or have ever had any of the following conditions:
- Cancer or a history of cancer
- A heart condition
- Liver disease, especially hepatitis B
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
- Immune deficiencies or a weakened immune system
- Seizure disorders such as epilepsy
- A muscle or nerve disorder like multiple sclerosis
- Repeated numbness or tingling in the body
Some medications may be less effective when taken with Remicade. Be sure to let your doctor know about any other medicines you are taking, including natural supplements and herbal products. It is especially important for your physician to be aware of the medications below. Your dosage may need to be adjusted.
- Blood thinners such as Coumadin, Theochron, etc.
- Psoriasis medications, including phototherapy treatments
Live vaccines, such as those administered to prevent rubella, chickenpox, H1N1, measles, etc., may be less effective if they are given to patients using Remicade. Tell your doctor if you are scheduled to receive any live vaccinations or if you have recently been given a BCG vaccine. Because of the higher risk of infections, children should be up to date on their immunizations before taking this medication.
Adults and children who suffer from autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can often find effective relief from their symptoms with Remicade. While some side effects may be serious, these reactions are rare. Most patients can take Remicade safely when they follow their doctor’s instructions.