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Breakthrough Crohn’s Disease Guide » Crohns vs Remicade

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Crohns vs Remicade

Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition with no cure that affects many people. Thus, all a Crohn’s sufferer can hope for is an effective treatment that will alleviate symptoms and put the disease in remission.  One such treatment that may be able to achieve this goal for many sufferers is Remicade.

What is Remicade?  Remicade, better known as Infliximab, is part of a group of medications called Biological Response Modifiers or TNF (tumor necrosis factor) Blockers.  Remicade is a compound created from living organisms and their products - proteins, antibodies, etc. Remicade is designed to improve the body’s natural response to disease, by soothing certain parts of the immune system that is thought to be aggravating the condition and causing symptoms. 

Studies have found Remicade successful at helping many moderate to severe Crohn’s sufferers find relief from their symptoms and achieve remission.  Some researchers believe Remicade is an effective treatment because it binds and blocks the effects of TNF-alpha, one of the proteins used to create inflammation. 

Remicade is often prescribed to those not responding to steroid or other Crohn’s treatment.  Remicade is not a steroid drug, therefore, it may also help a Crohn’s sufferer reduce or stop steroid treatment which can have unpleasant side effects.

Is Remicade safe for everyone?  No.  Remicade can lower the body’s blood cells which help fight infections.  Thus, it is easier for a person to catch infections just by being around those who are ill.  It also increases the risk of injury and bleeding more than normal.

In addition, Remicade can increase the risk of developing particular types of cancer such as skin cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.  It also increases the risk of autoimmune disorders like lupus

Remicade isn’t recommended for people who have:
• Congestive heart failure
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• Tuberculosis or previous case(s)
• Hepatitis B
• Seizure or epilepsy
• Cancer history
• A disease that affects the muscles or nerves (IE. Multiple sclerosis)
• A current or recent infection

Children under 6 years of age can not use Remicade, and pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers should talk to their doctor before considering treatment.  Furthermore, you should never receive a “live” vaccine when on Remicade, and inform your doctor of any drug allergies.

What are the side effects of Remicade?  The following are side effects you need to be aware of including, but not limited to -

Common side effects: stuffy nose; sinus pain; stomach pain; mild skin rash, and headache.

Serious side effects: shortness of breath even after little exertion, swollen feet or ankles; hair loss; skin rash that appear red, purple or scaly; joint or muscle pain; sores in the mouth; feeling numb or tingling; weakness in the arms and legs; vision problems; pain or burning sensation when urinating; nausea; stomach pain; mild fever; dark urine; clay-colored stools; loss of appetite; jaundice and seizures.

Signs of allergic reaction: hives; trouble breathing; Swelling in the face, lips, tongue or throat.

Signs of an infection while on Remicade: fever; flu-like symptoms; soar throat; weight loss; chest pain; chronic cough; coughing blood; pale skin; unusual weakness; bruising or bleeding easily.

Should you experience any serious side effect, allergic reaction or signs of infection seek medical attention immediately and notify your doctor.  Also, be sure to notify your doctor if you experience common side effects or side effects not listed.

How is Remicade administered?  Remicade is administered by a health care provider, usually every 2 – 8 weeks, and is injected into the patient with a needle.  Remicade is injected slowly and treatment is about 2 hours.  Those who become experienced with the treatment may be allowed to treat themselves at home, but self-treatment requires confidence and effective understanding.

If Remicade is a treatment that interests you, talk to your doctor and discuss all risks. For more information on Crohn’s disease, please visit Natural Crohn’s Disease Relief, where you can sign up for a free newsletter.

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6 Responses to “Crohns vs Remicade”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    My sister had exhausted all other options as far as medications went except for Remicade & the 6MP pill. She was hesitant to try either because of their serious side effects (i.e. cancer), but basically had no choice & chose Remicade. Unfortunately, for her, it did not help her at all as far as her pain went even after the 3 treatments. She then tried the 6MP for a little bit, but was at the point where she was in increasing pain daily, barely able to eat a meal a day and had to drop out of school. We went to the surgeon yesterday and she is scheduled for an Ileocolic Resection in a couple of weeks. The surgeon seems very optimistic so we are hoping for the best.

  2. Jackie Brown Says:

    This is pretty much a plug for Remicade. Even though it lists side effects and whatnot, it smacks of pharma-co propaganda.

  3. Peggy Wise Says:

    Remicaid changed my life!!! Two years after an illeostomy I was admitted to the hospital with more severe Crohn’s symptoms (this time, the lesions were ON my abdomen)—I was put on remicaid when it was newly approved for Crohn’s. It has been my miracle. I receive treatment every six weeks and am now able to hold a job as well as care for my family. I cannot say enough good things about it. I don’t seem to suffer any side-effects–but if I run late in getting in for the treatment, I do start to feel bad. I now take no other medication–at all. Two months ago, I went in for my remicaid treatment and my Dr. insisted on seeing me in an examination room as he had only seen me in the remicaid room for 2 years!!!! It was nice to see him and catch up on the happier points of our lives. I recommend Remicaid to anyone who is suffering.

  4. Doreen Says:

    How does Remicade feel once you have had a few infusions. Do you feel better right away, is it time released? Does it accumulate infusion after infusion. Please let me know.

    Thank you

  5. v ryan Says:

    I had the worse year ever with crohns , i lost 50kgs in that period, tried every drug out for crohns nothing helped till my specialist put me on remicade, he said i would not know myself after the second infusuion, and wow was he right!! i used to go toilet 15 to 20 times a day, now im only going twice a day, only bad thing is i am now putting on weight, but as far as feeling good since remicade..i recommend it to anyone that has severe crohns like i did. Its a miracle drug and as far as side effects i have none.

  6. Rachael Says:

    I am a Remicade infusion nurse and it cannot ever be self administered. It is an infusion which requires and IV to be started and infusion to be run through a pump at a regulated rate. Due to possible life threatening side effects, one must be monitored by a health care professional trained in ACLS. The amount of time it takes for the mediaction to take effect varies for everyone. Some can feel the effects after the first infusion and for others it may take three or more infusions.

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