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Although not everyone responds to infliximab, a number of studies have shown that infliximab can be very effective at improving symptoms and in bringing about and maintaining remission in CD. It can reduce the need for hospitalisation and surgery, and reduce the risk of CD returning after surgery, as well as successfully helping to heal fistulas.
One study has assessed the benefits of infliximab treatment in more than 600 people with CD, over an average follow-up of nearly five years. It found that more than half the people continued to do well on infliximab throughout their treatment. Other studies of infliximab used long term show that if infliximab starts to work less well, in some people increasing the dose or taking another immunosuppressant drug such as azathioprine alongside infliximab can help regain effectiveness.
Infliximab has also been shown to induce and maintain remission in people with UC. It has also been shown to promote healing and reduce the need for surgery. Research has also shown that infliximab may induce and maintain remission in
children with CD. It is important to talk to your IBD specialist team before you start your treatment with infliximab about all the possible benefits and risks, including the potential for side effects, as some of these can be serious.