Why it is prescribed :
This medication is a synthetic protein, prescribed for adult with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis including patients who have not responded to DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It blocks the activity of T-cells, which causes swelling and joint damage in people with arthritis condition.
When it is not to be taken (Contraindications):
Category C :
Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus and there are no appropriate studies in pregnant women, but potential benefits may allow the use of the drug in pregnant women despite the potential for risks.
Dosage & When it is to be taken (Indications):
Dose is based on body weight and condition of the patient. Weight < 60 kg should receive 500 mg dose, weight 60-100 kg a 750 mg dose and weight >100 kg a 1000 mg dose.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis- Pediatric patients weighing less than 75 kg: receive 10 mg/kg.
How it should be taken :
It is administered as an injection into the vein (intravenously), or as a solution for subcutaneous (under the skin) injection by a healthcare provider every 2 weeks for the first 3 doses and then every 4 weeks.
Warnings and Precautions :
Patient may develop with serious infections and tumor. Caution should be exercised in patients with history of lung, nerve diseases (e.g. multiple sclerosis), cancer, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), tuberculosis (TB), severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCID), cut or open sore, diabetes (especially if you are checking your blood sugar level at home), during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Avoid vaccination while taking this medication.
Side Effects :
Infection and cancer.
Central Nervous System
Headache and dizziness.
Upper respiratory tract infection and inflammation of nasopharynx.
Nausea, indigestion and severe abdominal pain.
Rash, red or painful skin, hives.
Cough, fever, tiredeness, flu-like symptoms, or warm, swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat, back pain, high blood pressure, indigestion, heartburn, night sweats, urinary tract infection, change in the amount of urine and pain in arms and legs.
Side effects in children
Upper respiratory tract infection, inflammation of nasopharynx, headache, nausea, diarrhea, cough and abdominal pain.
Other Precautions :
Avoid excess dosage.
It should not be used as a first-line drug for the treatment.
Storage Conditions :
Normally handled and stored by healthcare providers in refrigerator. Do not freeze and keep it away from light.
Last Updated : August 2013