It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Infliximab may cause an infusion reaction, including a heart attack, stroke, changes in blood pressure, or heart rhythm problems (eg, arrhythmia), while you are receiving it or right after the infusion ends. Check with your doctor or nurse right away if you have chest pain, fever, chills, itching, hives, rash, dizziness, fainting, lightheadedness, headache, joint pain, difficulty with swallowing, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, or swelling of the face, tongue, and throat.
Your body's ability to fight an infection may be reduced while you are using infliximab. It is very important that you call your doctor at the first sign of any infection. Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, cough, flu-like symptoms, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Serious skin reactions can occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, chills, cough, diarrhea, fever, itching, joint or muscle pain, red skin lesions, sore throat, sores, ulcers, or white spots in your mouth, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
This medicine may increase your chance of having a lupus-like syndrome or a liver disease called autoimmune hepatitis. Check with your doctor right away if you have dark brown-colored urine, fever or chills, a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or weakness, joint pain, light-colored stools, nausea and vomiting, a rash on the cheeks or arms that is worse in the sun, severe tiredness, upper right-sided stomach pain, or yellow eyes and skin.
A small number of people (including children and teenagers) who have used this medicine have developed certain types of cancer. This is more common in patients who have lung diseases (eg, emphysema, COPD) or are heavy smokers, and in psoriasis patients who have had phototherapy treatment for a long time. Phototherapy treatment is ultraviolet light or sunlight combined with oral medicine to make your skin sensitive to light. Some teenagers and young adults with Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis also developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. Talk with your doctor if you have unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, or groin, unexplained weight loss, or red, scaly patches, or raised bumps with pus on the skin.
Using this medicine may increase your risk of getting skin cancer (eg, melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma) or cervical cancer. If you have any changes or growths on your skin, abnormal vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain, tell your doctor right away.
While you are being treated with infliximab, do not have any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Live virus vaccines should not be given with infliximab. Your child's vaccinations must be current before using infliximab. Talk to your child's doctor if you have any questions about this.
Women: If you have a baby while receiving infliximab, make sure the baby's doctor knows that you are using this medicine. You will need to wait a few months before giving certain vaccines to your baby. Talk to the baby's doctor if you have questions.
You will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis before you start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis skin test.
It is important to have your heart checked closely if you receive infliximab. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, swelling in the ankles and feet, or a sudden weight gain.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes abatacept (Orencia®), anakinra (Kineret®), tocilizumab (Actemra®), or other medicines called biologics that are used to treat the same conditions as infliximab. Using these medicines together with infliximab may increase your chance of having serious unwanted effects.