Remicade, or infliximab, is a prescription medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. A black box warning was added to Remicade's label in 2001 after 84 cases of tuberculosis were reported among Remicade patients. In addition, warnings were added regarding the use of Remicade by congestive heart failure (CHF) patients, because the drug may contribute to disease progression and increase the risk of death from CHF.
Remicade's approval by the Food and Drug Administration was accelerated because initial results showed significant symptom relief in Crohn's disease patients who had been unresponsive to other treatments. Remicade works by blocking tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a process that affects the immune system. The long-term health effects of this type of drug were not fully understood at the time of the drug's approval.
The outbreaks of tuberculosis, 14 of which ended in death, and other infectious diseases (such as histoplasmosis, listeriosis, and pneumocystosis) have prompted both new warnings and new restrictions on patient candidacy for Remicade. So, too, have the reports of disease acceleration among CHF patients taking the drug. If you are currently taking Remicade, please talk with your doctor about being tested for potential problems or being switched to another medication.
If you, or a loved one, have been harmed by taking Remicade, please contact us today.