Patients treated with Remicade for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) by a Northwest Gastroenterology physician are welcome to infuse at our clinic. Please Contact Us if you would like to discuss receiving Remicade at our clinic. If you are on Remicade for inflammatory bowel disease but do not have a Northwest Gastroenterology physician, you will need to meet with one of our physicians in a Consultation prior to beginning Remicade infusions at our clinic.
Some patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis benefit from advanced medications that neutralize tumor necrosis factor (TNF). (Despite its name, TNF is more important in inflammatory diseases than in cancer.) These medications bind to TNF (as anti-TNF antibodies) and clear TNF out of the body. As TNF is a key component of the inflammatory pathway, patients with inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may see a reduction in the bowel symptoms once TNF is neutralized.
Remicade, the brand name of the anti-TNF medication infliximab, has been used for years in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to suppress inflammation. The medication must be given as an infusion via an intravenous catheter. When someone starts Remicade, there are generally three initial infusions over a 6-week period. After this, Remicade is generally infused once every 8 weeks, though the interval is occasionally shortened to 6 weeks. Infusions take approximately two hours, plus time to be checked in and discharged. Remicade may be combined with other Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis medications, if needed, or used as the only therapy.
What to Expect
Prior to you starting medications for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, your physician will discuss your various therapy options with you in person, including the expected benefits and possible side effects. If you decide that Remicade is right for you, your insurance company will be contacted for prior authorization, after which you will be scheduled for Remicade infusions at the dose and interval appropriate for your situation.
We have prepared a Patient Welcome Letter to help you know how to prepare for Remicade infusions. Note that we have WiFi available, so feel free to bring electronic devices (with headphones) to infusion appointments.
How to Prepare
Starting advanced medications like Remicade may raise many questions about benefits, risks, and financial implications. Prior to your first infusion, we ask that you review the risks outlined in the Informed Consent which we will ask you to sign at your first infusion appointment. These risks can be discussed further with your primary gastroenterologist during a clinic visit, if needed. At your first infusion, you will also be asked to sign the Patient Financial Responsibility form. We strongly encourage all patients receiving Remicade to apply for the RemiStart patient assistance program though the manufacturer of Remicade. If you have insurance that covers medication costs for Remicade, RemiStart may provide a rebate for your out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance) up to $8,000 every 12 months (or 8 Remicade infusions). After your first infusion, the infusion nurse will give you a Post-Infusion Instructions handout for your reference.