Drug Class:Biologics (TNF-α inhibitor)
Dosage is based on body weight. For RA and psoriatic arthritis: IV infusion at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks. (Some patients with RA may benefit by treating as often as every 4 weeks.) For ankylosing spondylitis: IV infusion at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, and then every 6 weeks.
Potential Side EffectsHelp
Bruising, itching, pain, redness or swelling at the injection site; headache; infections; infusion reaction during or shortly after treatment (including blood pressure changes, chest pain, difficulty breathing and hives); rash.
- Women of childbearing age should use effective contraception during treatment.
- All biologics suppress the immune system and may increase your risk of infections. Tell your doctor if you have an active infection. Do not start treatment if you have a serious or recurrent infection (such as pneumonia). You should be tested for tuberculosis before starting this medication. Do not get a live vaccine when taking biologics.
- Some evidence shows that TNF inhibitors may increase the risk of certain cancers, including lymphoma and skin cancer. Use sun protection and check your skin regularly while taking any of these drugs. TNF inhibitors should be avoided or used with caution in people with congestive heart failure. Rare reports of lupus have been linked to the use of TNF inhibitors. Lupus symptoms may go away when the medication is stopped.
The Arthritis Today Drug Guide is meant for education – not self-medicating. Arthritis Today, the Arthritis Foundation and the Drug Guide Medical Review Panel do not endorse any products mentioned in this guide. While we endeavor to keep the information up to date, we make no representations or warranties about the completeness of the information provided.