Specifics on Remicade treatment?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 6/12/2008 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone:
I hope this is an okay thread to start; I realize that we're supposed to check that one thread for information on starting new meds. I just had some very targeted questions about Remicade, which my doctor is recommending that I start:
1) How often do you get an infusion?
2) Did anyone take Remicade while pregnant?
3) Hope this isn't too personal, but how much did it cost?
4) Where were you given the treatment?
5) Is Remicade considered to be a prescription drug or a doctor-administered treatment (for insurance purposes)?
So...if anyone has answers to one or more of these questions I would greatly appreciate your feedback!
25 year-old female, Dx in 7/2005 with CD and Crohn's colitis
Rx: Asacol 4.8 gms/day (12 tablets!), Imuran 100 mg/day, Canasa suppositories. About to start Remicade due to spreading and continuously active disease.
Had a beautiful baby girl via c-section 11/21/07!!

Aimee =)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 6/12/2008 10:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Allison - hope I can help
1) How often do you get an infusion? - I got them usually every 8 weeks, though we did it 2 weeks apart a couple of times and 12 weeks apart a few times, and 6 weeks apart several times.
2) Did anyone take Remicade while pregnant? I did not but know there are several posters on here that have and had successful pregnancies.
3) Hope this isn't too personal, but how much did it cost? Depended upon my insurance and where it was administered at the time. Typically my OOP was $80 for the drug plus administering costs. If done in office, I was typically charged an extended office visit of sorts. In hospital, it ended up costing a few hundred an infusion. Overall it was VERY expensive for me regardless. I hit my insurance OOP max of $2k easily just on the infusions. I am on Humira now and am thankful for the lower cost treatment option.
4) Where were you given the treatment? I was under the care of 3 GIs while on it. Two administered it in the office, one did it in the outpatient center of the hospital. In office was much better, IMO, and cheaper but I didn't get much choice.
5) Is Remicade considered to be a prescription drug or a doctor-administered treatment (for insurance purposes)? For me, it was both. I had to pay for the drug itself through my insurance selected mailorder drug company OR the hospital pharmacy (dependent upon where my infusion was being done). My copay on that drug was $80. Then I had to pay for the administering, which dependent upon the doctor was coded differently. For hospital, it was coded as an outpatient treatment and the costs were enormous. For doc office, most did it as an office visit of sorts so I had to pay a specialist copay and then some (ended up being usually $80-$120). My regular specialist copay was $45 but since I was taking up a room and nurse for hours on end, I didn't get away with just that =)
Long story short - your GI's office can give you the run down on specifics and tell you what your cost will be through your insurance.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 6/12/2008 10:44 PM (GMT -7)   
1) you start at 2 weeks, then 6 and eventually 8 weeks apart. But it really depends some need it more often than others.

3) It cost $7,000 for each infusion, luckily i have reached my max payout for the year so it is fully covered.

4)I get mine at the outpatient center in the hospital.

5) My insurance didn't cover it as a prescription but they cover it as a medical procedure.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 6/13/2008 5:47 AM (GMT -7)   
1) How often do you get an infusion? I get my infusions every 8 weeks. The "loading doses" are at 0, 2 adn 6 weeks then you will go on a regular schedule depending on your dr and how you respond to the medication. I think another consideration is when it starts to wear off for each individual person so you may go shorter or longer than 8 weeks (which I think is the norm).
2) Did anyone take Remicade while pregnant? I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with my second child and on remicade. I had my first bowel resection in July 2007 and remicade is the only drug that has kept me symptom free so I use it as maintenance. Every GI and OB/GYN have their own opinion on using it during pregnancy. My GI was fine with it, but my OB was VERY hesitant. I explained to him that without the med pregnancy wasn't an option because I couldn't risk being as sick as I was without meds during my first pregnancy. If you are considering getting pregnant, talk to both drs and go with your gut feeling on whether it's right for you or not. There are several others on this forum who have taken remicade and had healthy babies.
3) Hope this isn't too personal, but how much did it cost? My infusions are billed at $5500 and the insurance agrees to pay $4400 each time. Because my out of pocket max was met after one treatment this year, they are covered 100% by my insurance.
4) Where were you given the treatment? My treatments are given at my drs office in a room that is specifically for infusions (remicade, orencia, etc). I can only schedule my treatments on certain days when a GI is in the building in case I would have some kind of reaction.
5) Is Remicade considered to be a prescription drug or a doctor-administered treatment (for insurance purposes)? For me it is a dr admin treatment and it's all billed through the dr office/infusion room. I don't pay a co-pay like you would for an office visit though.
I hope this was helpful as I know there is a lot of info to take in about these treatments. I have never had any issues with Remicade and it has been my "miracle" drug! GOODLUCK!

Fibromyalgia DX March 2003
Crohn's DX Jan 2006 (Symptoms since 96-Misdiagnosed as "female" problems-Major flare during pregnancy in 05 which lead to DX)
1st resection July 2007
Currently on Remicade/8 weeks

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/13/2008 7:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Allison, You'll have a "loading" phase to begin with as mentioned above....a few infusions close together to get the remecade level up in your blood stream, then usually infuse every 6 or 8 weeks. My infusions started at every 8 weeks about 6 yrs ago and put me into a semi state of remission ie: fistulas closed completely, however some symptoms remained and new side effects surfaced due to the remecade. I had to be reloaded last year after attempting to go off the drug, and my treatments are now every 4 weeks. Humira is the next step for me. Bassicaly the longer your on it the closer your infusions become, until you build immunity. As for the cost, that deppends on your weight primarily, but often just like the frequency of infusions, more of the drug is required the longer you are on it. I take 5 vials every 4 weeks, and the cost is $5,300.00. Thankfully my wifes insurance covers 100%, but if you are in Canada as I am, the government has what is called "The Trillium Fund" which will cover the majority of the cost for you. Best of luck to you, and I hope the treatments work as well for you as for most. 

First major symptoms in '96, horseshoe fistula's and severe abdominal pain with BD shortly after. Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2001. Double fistulectomy in '02. Too many cut, drain and packs to mention.
Began Remecade in late '02, 5 vials every 4 weeks. 500mg Cipro twice daily, and 250mg Flagyl 3 times daily.

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 6/13/2008 4:46 PM (GMT -7)   
You can find several threads where we've discussed starting Remicade at the new meds thread.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/19/2008 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
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