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Infliximab, Serum

Measuring infliximab levels monitors drug levels and evaluates patients being treated with infliximab.

Infliximab is an essential medication for treating various inflammatory conditions, particularly autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. While it can be highly effective in controlling inflammation and improving symptoms, it's crucial for patients to be aware of the potential side effects and to be monitored closely during treatment.

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Infliximab is a monoclonal antibody medication used to treat various inflammatory conditions, particularly autoimmune diseases.

Mechanism of Action: Infliximab targets and neutralizes tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). TNF-α is a cytokine involved in the inflammatory response. By blocking TNF-α, infliximab helps to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system.

Indications

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Infliximab is used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in cases where other treatments have been ineffective.
  • Crohn's Disease: It's used to induce and maintain remission in patients with moderate to severe Crohn's disease.
  • Ulcerative Colitis: Infliximab is also used for inducing and maintaining remission in patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis: It's used to treat ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis affecting the spine.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: Infliximab is used for treating psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis that develops in some people with psoriasis.

Administration: Infliximab is administered intravenously (IV). The dosing schedule can vary depending on the treated condition, but it's often given as an initial dose followed by maintenance doses at regular intervals.

Side Effects: Common side effects of infliximab can include infusion reactions, such as fever, chills, headache, and skin rash. Other potential side effects include an increased risk of infections, particularly respiratory diseases, and reactivation of latent tuberculosis. There may also be an increased risk of certain cancers, particularly lymphomas.

Monitoring: Patients receiving infliximab therapy are usually monitored closely for signs of infection and other adverse reactions. Periodic blood tests, including complete blood counts and liver function tests, may be recommended to monitor for potential side effects.

Precautions: Before starting infliximab therapy, patients should be evaluated for underlying infections, particularly tuberculosis. Live vaccines should generally be avoided while receiving infliximab treatment due to the increased risk of infection.

See also Infliximab Antibodies, Serum

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