What to expect from a first remicade infusion? They'll likely have you fillout a questionnaire form (have you had any recent infections, are you pregnant, etc.), weigh you or ask your current weight (remi is a weight-based drug), they'll give you premedications (tylenol and your choice of anti-histamines: claritin or bendryl), you'll sit or laydown, there will be a tiny prick from setting the IV, and you will wait for 2-3 hours while the medication drips and that's pretty boring (so bring an eReader, book, or other form of entertainment to keep you busy). There is is no sensation during the infusion itself. A nurse checks your vitals a few times (temperature, pulse, and blood pressure). Afterwards they remove the IV, put a bandaid on, and send you on your way. You can drive yourself home. Some report being fatigued within 24 hours of the remicade infusion, so you might want to plan some time to relax afterwards just incase you are tired afterwards.
Bring activities to keep you busy for 2-3 hours during the infusion. If you opt for benadryl then you might take a nap, it is drowsy. I prefer claritin, as it is non-drowsy. Infusion centers vary on whether or not they offer you food and drinks, mine always has. Currently I get my infusion at a hospital and they let me order and eat a meal there, and they bring drinks. Other places have bags of various snacks, and a cooler of drinks.
Overall, it is pretty easy-peasy. The nurse monitors you for signs of an infusion reaction (a headache, increased heart-rate, etc.) and should it happen (uncommon), they slow the drip rate and give you more anti-histamine/claritin/benadryl. When you take the antihistamine in advance, the odds of reactions are greatly reduced, and usually for that reason they just give those upfront before starting the meds.
Moderator Ulcerative Colitis
John, 39, UC Proctosigmoiditis
Rx: Remicade @5mgs/kg/6wks; daily 75mgs 6MP, 4.8g generic-Lialda, and rowasa
Does the 5-second-rule apply to soup?