Bright Sight

Oliver Backhouse, Consultant Eye Surgeon www.cataract.org.uk

Treatment with Infliximab

Infliximab is a medicine that is used in the treatment of certain inflammatory diseases of the body. There is increasing evidence of the usefulness of Infliximab in uveitis that has been difficult to treat by more conventional immune calming medications. It is an antibody that inhibits the action of a substance called TNF. This molecule, TNF, is released by the cells of your immune system and is a powerful regulator of any immune response. By inhibiting the action of TNF with Infliximab, this causes a reduction in the amount of inflammation. Infliximab has been shown to be of help in conditions such as Behcets disease, Crohns disease (inflammation of the gut) and Sarcoidosis amongst others.

Infliximab is given into the vein with a second dose 2 weeks later, and a third dose one month after the second dose. It is then given every 8 or more weeks providing there has been a good clinical response. Another medication, Methotrexate is given in addition to help keep Infliximab effective. Because Infliximab is a very specialised medication, it is only given by doctors (Rheumatologists) who have the most experience with it. A detailed medical history is required before giving Infliximab as it is relatively contraindicated in people who have had Tuberculosis or Multiple Sclerosis. The medication is usually very well tolerated and is producing some very exciting results.