Remicade (infliximab)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: August 2023

Remicade® (infliximab) is a type of biologic therapy that can be used to treat people who have moderately or severely active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). It can also be used to treat people who have fistulizing Crohn’s disease.1,2

Remicade is approved for use in both adults and children over age 6 for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.1,2

What are the ingredients in Remicade?

The active ingredient is infliximab.2

How does Remicade work?

Remicade is a type of biologic therapy called an anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drug. The active ingredients in anti-TNF drugs are special proteins (antibodies) that target and block another kind of protein made by the immune system called TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha proteins are responsible for triggering inflammation to fight off infections in the body.1,3

People with IBD may have too much of the TNF-alpha protein. Having too much of the protein can cause the immune system to attack parts of the body that are healthy.1,3

For those with IBD, these proteins can trigger too much inflammation in the digestive tract, which causes IBD symptoms. This inflammation also can damage the lining of the intestine. Remicade works by blocking the proteins' ability to cause this inflammation.1,3

For people with moderate or severe Crohn’s disease or UC, Remicade can:1-3

  • Reduce the symptoms of IBD
  • Help them to enter remission
  • Help them to stay in remission longer
  • Help heal the inside lining of the intestine

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects of Remicade are:2

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Infusion-related allergic reactions
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain

Remicade has a boxed warning, the strictest warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has this warning because taking Remicade can increase your risk of serious viral, bacterial, and fungal infections as well as certain cancers.2

Other serious side effects of Remicade may include:2

  • Hepatitis B reactivation
  • Liver problems
  • Heart failure
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Nervous system problems
  • Blood problems
  • Immune system problems

These are not all the possible side effects of Remicade. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Remicade. Call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Remicade.2

Other things to know

Remicade is given as an infusion into a vein.2

Taking Remicade can reduce your body’s ability to fight off infections. For this reason, your doctor will test you for tuberculosis before starting treatment. They also will continue to monitor you throughout treatment for signs of any other infections.2

People who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding should let their doctor know before taking Remicade.2

Anyone taking Remicade should not receive any kind of live vaccine.2

Do not take Remicade if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Seek medical help right away if you have any signs of an allergic reaction during or after a Remicade infusion. These signs might include:2

  • Hives
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Swelling of the face and/or hands
  • Fever or chills

Before beginning treatment for IBD, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Remicade.