How do I take infliximab and how long does it take to work?
Infliximab is given through a drip (intravenous infusion) into your arm.
It's usually done in hospital, and takes about two hours. You'll need to wait for another 1–2 hours before you go home in case you develop any side-effects.
After the first infusion you'll have another one two weeks later and then one four weeks after that.
After the third infusion you'll continue to have one every eight weeks. The infusions may take less time, and you may be able to have them at home, once you're established on the treatment.
Your symptoms should start to improve over a period of 2-12 weeks.
Because it's a long-term treatment it's important to keep taking infliximab (unless you have severe side-effects):
- even if it doesn't seem to be working at first
- even when your symptoms start to improve – to help keep the disease under control.
Infliximab was originally available only under the brand name Remicade.
More recently, two drugs called Inflectra and Remsima have become available. These newer drugs are referred to as 'bio-similars' because they're made to act in the same way as the original drug.
Because these drugs are newer, we don't yet know as much about them in terms of safety and effectiveness in all the situations described in these pages.