Return to Alert Listing...
DRUG MANUFACTURER WARNS OF LYMPHOMA RISK
The manufacturer of infliximab (brand name:
Remicade), an anti-arthritis drug, has warned that patients taking the drug
developed lymphoma at three times the rate of the general public.
Remicade, which is manufactured by Centocor, is a monoclonal antibody,
partially made from mouse substances, which blocks tumor necrosis factor (TNF),
a factor in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
Since some arthritis patients have immune system problems, and
rheumatoid arthritis is linked with an increased risk of lymphoma, it is not
completely clear whether the lymphoma was caused by the drug.
Therefore, the drug is not banned by the F.D.A. and is still available.
However, experts warn that any substance which affects the immune system
may predispose to an increased risk of lymphoma.
Similar concerns have been raised about other anti-arthritis drugs which
act against TNF, including Enbrel (etanercept, Wyeth) and Humira (adalimumab,
Abbott). These kinds of drugs are
also used to treat psoriasis.