From last October to April, I was forced to take a break from taking my Remicade (infliximab)
infusions. This was due to surgeries and dealing with severe illnesses. I ended up staying off Remicade for over five months, and I was definitely feeling it. Because I had been off Remicade for so long, my doctor ordered me to start over and complete loading doses to get the medication back into my system. This would give me the best chance for Remicade to get into my system sooner than if I were to start back up at eight-week intervals.
Starting over with Remicade
On April 26, I started the first of the loading doses. The infusion started off normally. I went to the infusion center, took my pre-medications, including Tylenol and Benadryl, and started the infusion. Shortly later, I began feeling a bit off. I experienced a strong headache, felt clammy and nauseated, and my skin was itchy. I also had a rash forming on my arm. My nurses came over and stopped the infusion. The symptoms improved a little, but not a lot. The physician's assistant (PA) at the center decided to give me some IV Benadryl to see if it would help alleviate the symptoms. It did. The headache, nausea, and itchiness improved. The only lingering effect was some general itchiness for a couple days. These reactions just weren't normal for me. I had been on Remicade since May 2016 and had never experienced any reactions from the infusions.
Why was this happening?
The PA had s