Infliximab, brand name Remicade®, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Crohn's disease.

Infiximab is a biologically engineered antibody that attacks a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) protein that causes intestinal inflammation. The antibody, which is made up of human and mouse proteins, moves through the system to identify and neutralize the protein that causes inflammation.

In addition to laboratory research, Cleveland Clinic is participating in multiple research trials to test the effectiveness of infliximab. In a study of 108 patients who had moderate to severe Crohn's disease, 82 percent who received an injection improved, including 48 percent who went into remission. However, the drug's benefits may wear off after a few months. The drug can cause side effects such as hives, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, severe infections, and low blood pressure.

Other biologic agents that are now approved for use in Crohn’s disease are:

  • Adalimumab (Humira®)—a fully human anti-TNF antibody.
  • Certolizumab (Cimzia®)—a humanized fragment of an anti-TNF antibody that is pegylated to make it last longer in the body.
  • Natalizumab (Tysabri®)—an anti-integrin antibody that interferes with the trafficking of white blood cells into the intestinal wall to reduce inflammation.

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 9/21/2013...#9668