Each week we will aim to bring out a concise email that provides 4-5 key pieces of information addressing a specific issue in clinical therapeutics.
This week: Infliximab
Infliximab is a monoclonal antibody that binds to human tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), cytokine with pro-inflammatory and immunoregulatory functions. When TNFα is overexpressed, this can facilitate chronic inflammatory responses in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Chrohn’s disease and other conditions.
- Administered intravenously, in Australia infliximab is approved for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
- Infliximab should not be administered to people with congestive heart failure, or for those with severe infections including sepsis, abscesses, tuberculosis and opportunistic infections.
- Acute infusion reactions may develop immediately or within a few hours of infusion, and may be more likely with a rapid rate of infusion. In the case of an acute infusion reaction, the infusion must be stopped immediately. In severe cases (e.g. anaphylaxis) antihistamines, corticosteroids, adrenaline and/or paracetamol), and an artificial airway may be needed: infusions are usually undertaken in hospital.
- Infliximab should not be mixed in infusion with any other medications.
Please consider these issues when preparing or interpreting RMMR reports or education sessions. Contributions of content or suggested topics are welcome and should be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.