News from Hepatitis Week of Jan. 11, 2004/ Vol. 4 No. 02
Study: Remicade May Be Safe for Hepatitis Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Remicade® (inflixmab) appears to be safe for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and hepatitis B or C, according to a study reported in the January issue of the Journal of Rheumatology.

Remicade is a biologic therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers at the Henri Mondor Teaching Hospital in France examined the safety of treating the rheumatoid arthritis of two patients who also had hepatitis B or C with Remicaide.

In their evaluation, the researchers monitored the patients for disease
activity, liver function tests and hepatitis C or hepatitis B status before
starting infliximab therapy and again after each infusion of infliximab.

After more than one year of treatment, no worsening in liver function or
virological status was observed, while a dramatic clinical improvement of joint disease was observed in both patients.

These cases suggest that infliximab therapy may be safe in some quiescent or controlled chronic hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection, concluded the researchers.

Other sources: Journal of Rheumatology 2004 Jan;31(1):107-9