Is infliximab a good remedy for arthritis?
Q: The recent issue of The Week has mentioned infliximab as a remedy for arthritis. What are the side effects, if any, of the drug and what are the names by which this compound is available?
A:I want to clarify that it is meant ONLY for rheumatoid arthritis and not for any other arthritis. Also, it is to be used ONLY if the patient has failed on full dose of at least 3 months of one of the modern latest disease modifying drugs (for all practical purposes, such a drug is methotrexate 20-25 mg weekly for at least 4 weeks or more). In other words, infliximab is used in methotrexate failure cases. Side effects are usually minimal but, in developing countries, flareup of old endogenous tuberculous focus is one of the worrysome side-effects.