Avsola is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved to treat certain autoimmune diseases in adults and children. With an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks your own tissues and organs by mistake.

Avsola is approved to treat the following in adults and children ages 6 years and older:

Avsola is approved to treat the following in adults:

For more information on these conditions and treatment with Avsola, see the “Avsola uses” section below.

Drug details

Avsola contains the active drug infliximab-axxq. It’s classified as a tumor necrosis factor blocker.

Avsola comes as a vial of powder that’s mixed with a liquid solution. A healthcare professional will give you the drug as an IV infusion at an infusion clinic or a doctor’s office. In some cases, you may be able to receive Avsola infusions at home. Avsola comes in a 100-milligram (mg) strength.

FDA approval

Avsola was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain autoimmune conditions in 2019.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Avsola, see the “Avsola uses” section below.

Avsola is a biologic drug and is available only as a brand-name medication. It contains the active drug infliximab-axxq. Avsola is a biosimilar of infliximab, which is the active drug in Remicade.

Biologic drugs are made from living cells, while nonbiologic drugs are made from chemicals. Most drugs made from chemicals have generic versions. A generic is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. But it’s not possible to make an exact copy of a biologic. So instead of a generic, biologics have biosimilars.

Biosimilars are considered just as safe and effective as their parent drug. And biosimilars tend to cost less than brand-name medications, just like generics.

If your doctor has prescribed Avsola and you’re interested in receiving Remicade instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one or the other.

The Avsola dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re receiving Avsola to treat
  • your age
  • your weight
  • other medical conditions you may have

The following information describes dosing that’s commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Avsola comes as a powder that a healthcare professional will mix with sterile water to create a liquid solution. Then they’ll give you the medication as an IV infusion (an injection into your vein that’s given over a period of time).

You’ll receive these infusions from a healthcare professional at a location such as an infusion clinic or a doctor’s office. In some cases, you may be able to receive Avsola infusions at home. If you have questions about the administration of Avsola, talk with the healthcare professional or your doctor.

Avsola comes in one strength: 100 milligrams (mg).

Dosage for Crohn’s disease

For treating Crohn’s disease in adults, your healthcare professional will calculate your Avsola dosage based on your weight. The recommended dose is 5 mg per kilogram (mg/kg)* of body weight. You’ll receive one dose at weeks 0, 2, and 6. Then you’ll receive one dose every 8 weeks after that.

Your doctor may increase your dose to 10 mg/kg if your Crohn’s symptoms get worse during treatment with Avsola.

Dosage for ulcerative colitis, plaque psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis

For treating ulcerative colitis, plaque psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis in adults, your healthcare professional will calculate your Avsola dosage based on your weight. The recommended dose is 5 mg/kg* of body weight. You’ll receive one dose at weeks 0, 2, and 6. Then, you’ll receive one dose every 8 weeks after that.

For psoriatic arthritis, you may take Avsola with or without methotrexate (Trexall). If you take methotrexate, talk with your doctor for specific instructions about your dosage.

Dosage for rheumatoid arthritis

For treating rheumatoid arthritis, your healthcare professional will calculate your Avsola dosage based on your weight. The recommended dose is 3 mg/kg* of body weight. You’ll receive one dose at weeks 0, 2, and 6. Then you’ll receive one dose every 8 weeks after that.

Your doctor may increase your dose to 10 mg/kg if your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms get worse during treatment with Avsola. Or they may increase the frequency of your dose to every 4 weeks instead of every 8 weeks.

You’ll likely take methotrexate (Trexall) in combination with Avsola. Talk with your doctor for specific instructions about your methotrexate dosage.

Dosage for ankylosing spondylitis

For treating ankylosing spondylitis, your healthcare professional will calculate your Avsola dosage based on your weight. The recommended dose is 5 mg/kg* of body weight. You’ll receive one dose at weeks 0, 2, and 6. Then, you’ll receive one dose every 6 weeks after that.

Children’s dosage

Avsola is approved for treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in children ages 6 years and older. The dosage is calculated based on your child’s weight in kg.*

The dose for treating Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis in children is the same: 5 mg/kg of body weight. One dose is given at weeks 0, 2, and 6. Then they’ll receive one dose every 8 weeks thereafter.

What if I miss a dose?

Avsola is given only by a healthcare professional. If you miss an appointment to receive an Avsola infusion, call your doctor’s office right away. The staff can reschedule your appointment so you receive your dose as soon as possible.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app.

Will I need to receive this drug long term?

Avsola is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Avsola is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Note: One kg is equal to about 2.2 pounds (lb).

Avsola can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Avsola. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Avsola, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Avsola, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Avsola can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Avsola. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Avsola’s prescribing information.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Avsola aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect details” section below.
Avsola has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

Side effects in children

Children with Crohn’s disease showed some different side effects compared with adults with Crohn’s disease.

Side effects in children with Crohn’s disease can include:

In clinical studies, infections are reported more often in children with ulcerative colitis as compared with adults.

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Serious infections

Avsola has a boxed warning about serious infections. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. The warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Avsola can increase the risk of serious infections, which may require treatment in the hospital. In rare cases, they can lead to death. These infections may include fungal infections throughout your body, bacterial and viral infections, and tuberculosis (TB).

In clinical studies, serious infections weren’t common among people treated with Avsola. Most serious infections occurred in people who were also taking other medications that weakened their immune system.

Your doctor will test you for TB before you start treatment with Avsola. They’ll also monitor you for TB for as long as you continue treatment with Avsola. If you develop a serious infection while taking Avsola, your doctor will likely have you stop taking the medication.

Risk of lymphoma and other cancers

Avsola has a boxed warning about risk of lymphoma and other cancers. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. The warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

There have been reports of certain cancers developing in children treated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, such as Avsola. These cancers include lymphoma and skin cancer. Adults and children who receive Avsola may have an increased risk of developing these cancers.

Since Avsola came on the market, some people receiving the medication have reported a rare type of lymphoma called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of lymphoma was fatal in some cases. This cancer was most common in adolescent and young adult males* with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. In most cases, they were using a TNF blocker in combination with azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran) or 6-mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan).

Your doctor will regularly screen you for cancer while you receive treatment with Avsola.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “male” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

Infusion reactions

In clinical studies, infusion reactions were reported as a side effect of treatment with Avsola. The drug is given as an IV infusion, which is an injection into your vein that’s given over a period of time. During and after an infusion, your body may react to Avsola. Keep in mind that a headache, which is a common side effect of Avsola, is also a common symptom of infusion reactions.

Infusion reactions are a somewhat common side effect of Avsola. In fact, infusion reactions were the most common reason people stopped treatment with the drug in clinical studies. To find out how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Symptoms of an infusion reaction can include:

Before your infusion, your doctor may give you medications to help prevent infusion reactions. These may include an antihistamine such as loratadine (Claritin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and a corticosteroid such as prednisone.

During and after your Avsola infusion, you’ll be monitored by a healthcare professional. They’ll watch for any symptoms of an infusion reaction. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, tell your healthcare professional. They may pause or slow down the rate of your infusion. If you have an infusion reaction that is severe, your doctor will likely have you stop treatment with Avsola.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after receiving Avsola. Allergic reactions with Avsola were rare in clinical studies.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Avsola, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Avsola to treat certain conditions.

Avsola for Crohn’s disease

Avsola is approved to treat Crohn’s disease that’s moderate to severe in adults as well as children ages 6 years and older. Avsola is prescribed when you currently have symptoms of Crohn’s disease, but certain other medications haven’t helped.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in your digestive tract. This can cause symptoms that can include bloody stool, diarrhea and cramps, and abdominal pain.

In severe cases, Crohn’s disease may also cause fistulas. These are passageways between two parts of the body that aren’t usually connected. For adults with Crohn’s disease, Avsola is given to help heal fistulas that have formed between the intestines and the skin, or between the rectum and vagina. Avsola is also given to help maintain healing of a fistula that’s already been treated.

Effectiveness for Crohn’s disease

Clinical studies showed Avsola to be effective for treating Crohn’s disease. Infliximab, the active drug in Avsola, is recommended as a treatment option by the American College of Gastroenterology guidelines for Crohn’s disease.

For information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Avsola’s prescribing information.

Avsola for ulcerative colitis

Avsola is approved to treat ulcerative colitis in adults and children ages 6 years and older. Avsola is prescribed to treat moderate to severe ulcerative colitis when certain other medications haven’t helped.

In some cases, adults may be taking drugs called corticosteroids for ulcerative colitis. With Avsola treatment, you may not have to take corticosteroids anymore.

Ulcerative colitis is a condition that causes inflammation of your colon (large intestine) and rectum. This can result in symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and unintended weight loss.

Effectiveness for ulcerative colitis

Avsola has been found to be effective in treating Crohn’s disease in clinical studies. Infliximab, the active drug in Avsola, is recommended as a treatment option by the American College of Gastroenterology guidelines for ulcerative colitis.

For information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Avsola’s prescribing information.

Avsola for rheumatoid arthritis

Avsola is approved to treat adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, in combination with methotrexate (Trexall).

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in your joints. In some cases, it can also affect other parts of your body such as the mouth, lungs, or eyes.

Effectiveness for rheumatoid arthritis

Avsola has been found to be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Infliximab, the active drug in Avsola, is recommended as a treatment option in the American College of Rheumatology 2015 guidelines for rheumatoid arthritis.

For information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Avsola’s prescribing information.

Avsola for psoriatic arthritis

Avsola is prescribed to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adults. “Active” means you currently have symptoms.

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis in which you also have a condition called psoriasis. Symptoms may include joint swelling and fatigue.

Effectiveness for psoriatic arthritis

Avsola has been found to be effective in treating psoriatic arthritis. Infliximab, the active drug in Avsola, is recommended as a treatment option in the American College of Rheumatology and National Psoriasis Foundation guidelines for psoriatic arthritis.

For information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Avsola’s prescribing information. You can also visit our arthritis hub.

Avsola for plaque psoriasis

Avsola is approved to treat plaque psoriasis that’s chronic (long lasting) and severe in adults. Avsola is prescribed for adults who:

  • can take systemic medications (drugs that work throughout the body) for plaque psoriasis
  • have certain conditions or factors that keep them from being able to use systemic treatments other than Avsola

Plaque psoriasis causes itchy plaques (scaly patches) to form on your skin. They may appear red or pink in lighter skin tones and dark brown or purple in darker skin tones. Plaque psoriasis is considered severe if it covers an extensive portion of your body, or causes disability in your daily life.

Effectiveness for plaque psoriasis

Avsola has been found to be effective in treating plaque psoriasis. Infliximab, the active drug in Avsola, is recommended as a treatment option in the American Academy of Dermatology guidelines for plaque psoriasis.

For information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Avsola’s prescribing information. You can also visit our psoriasis hub.

Avsola for ankylosing spondylitis

Avsola is prescribed to treat active ankylosing spondylitis in adults. “Active” means you are currently having symptoms. Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects your spine. Symptoms can include pain or stiffness in your spine and lower back.

Effectiveness for ankylosing spondylitis

Avsola has been found to be effective in treating Crohn’s disease. Infliximab, the active drug in Avsola, is recommended as a treatment option in the American College of Rheumatology, Spondylitis Association of America, and Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network 2015 guidelines for ankylosing spondylitis.

For information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Avsola’s prescribing information.

Avsola and children

Avsola is approved to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in children ages 6 years and older. For more information, see the “Avsola for Crohn’s disease” and “Avsola for ulcerative colitis” sections above.

Your doctor may prescribe medication for you to take in combination with Avsola to treat your condition.

If you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, it’s likely that you’ll receive Avsola with at least one other drug. Examples of these drugs include:

  • azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran)
  • 6-mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan)

If you have psoriatic arthritis your doctor will likely prescribe Avsola in combination with methotrexate (Trexall). Avsola can also be given alone to treat this condition.

For rheumatoid arthritis, Avsola is prescribed in combination with methotrexate. Avsola isn’t approved to be given alone to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Premedications

Your doctor may prescribe medications before treatment with Avsola to help prevent infusion reactions.* These premedications may include:

* For more information about infusion reactions, see “Side effect details” in the “Avsola side effects” section above.

There’s no known interaction between drinking alcohol and treatment with Avsola.

But drinking alcohol while receiving Avsola may increase your risk of certain side effects or make your side effects worse. Examples of side effects that might worsen with alcohol include:

  • Infection.*† Drinking alcohol can weaken your immune system and raise your risk of an infection such as sinus infection.
  • Serious liver problems.* Drinking too much alcohol can cause liver damage, which may increase your risk of liver problems, such as liver failure.

For some people, alcohol can trigger symptoms of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis. Avsola is given to treat these conditions.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much is safe for you to drink while receiving Avsola.

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect details” section above.
Avsola has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

Avsola can interact with several other medications. It may also interact with certain vaccines.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Avsola and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Avsola. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Avsola.

Before taking Avsola, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Due to possible interactions, doctors typically will not prescribe Avsola with:

Avsola and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Avsola. But you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Avsola.

Avsola and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Avsola. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Avsola, talk with your doctor.

Avsola and vaccines

Due to possible interactions, doctors typically will not recommend you receive live vaccines while you’re being treated with Avsola.

Live vaccines contain live but weakened pieces of the viruses or bacteria they protect against. In people with a healthy immune system, live vaccines usually won’t cause infection.

Avsola can weaken your immune system. If you get a live vaccine, your immune system may not be able to fight off the virus or bacteria the vaccine contains. This can cause serious infection.*†

Examples of live vaccines include:

Before you begin treatment with Avsola, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about vaccinations. They can help make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations before you begin treatment with Avsola.

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect details” section above.
Avsola has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

Live vaccines and infants

If you take Avsola while pregnant*, your infant should not receive any live vaccines until they’re at least 6 months old. Infants exposed to Avsola before they’re born may have a higher risk of infections if they’re given vaccines too soon after birth. In rare cases, these infections can be fatal.

Below are examples of live vaccines your infant should not receive for at least 6 months after birth:

If you have questions about the vaccines your child needs, talk with their doctor.

* For more information about taking Avsola during pregnancy, see the “Avsola and pregnancy” section below.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Avsola, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are prescribed off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is used for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Alternatives for Crohn’s disease

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat Crohn’s disease include:

Alternatives for ulcerative colitis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat ulcerative colitis include:

  • azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran)
  • balsalazide (Colazal, Giazo)
  • corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • infliximab (Remicade, Ixfi, Inflectra)
  • mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan)
  • mesalamine (Apriso, Asacol HD, Canasa, Delzicol)
  • olsalazine (Dipentum)
  • rectal hydrocortisone (Cortifoam)

Alternatives for rheumatoid arthritis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • abatacept (Orencia)
  • adalimumab (Humira, Amjevita, Cyltezo, Hyrimoz)
  • certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)
  • corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • etanercept (Enbrel, Erelzi)
  • golimumab (Simponi)
  • hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
  • infliximab (Remicade, Ixfi, Inflectra)
  • leflunomide (Arava)
  • methotrexate (Trexall, Rasuvo, Otrexup, Reditrex)
  • sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
  • tocilizumab (Actemra)

Alternatives for psoriatic arthritis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat psoriatic arthritis include:

  • abatacept (Orencia)
  • adalimumab (Humira, Amjevita, Cyltezo, Hyrimoz)
  • certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)
  • corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • etanercept (Enbrel, Erelzi)
  • golimumab (Simponi)
  • guselkumab (Tremfya)
  • infliximab (Remicade, Ixfi, Inflectra)
  • methotrexate (Trexall, Rasuvo, Otrexup, Reditrex)
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) and celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • secukinumab (Cosentyx)
  • sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
  • ustekinumab (Stelara)

Alternatives for plaque psoriasis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat plaque psoriasis include:

  • adalimumab (Humira, Amjevita, Cyltezo, Hyrimoz)
  • etanercept (Enbrel, Erelzi)
  • guselkumab (Tremfya)
  • infliximab (Remicade, Ixfi, Inflectra)
  • methotrexate (Trexall, Rasuvo, Otrexup, Reditrex)
  • topical corticosteroids, such as betamethasone (Beta-Val)
  • topical retinoids, such as tazarotene (Tazorac)
  • topical vitamin D analogues, such as calcipotriene (Dovonex, Sorilux) or calcitriol (Vectical)

Alternatives for ankylosing spondylitis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat ankylosing spondylitis include:

  • adalimumab (Humira, Amjevita, Cyltezo, Hyrimoz)
  • certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)
  • etanercept (Enbrel, Erelzi)
  • golimumab (Simponi)
  • infliximab (Remicade, Ixfi, Inflectra)
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) and celecoxib (Celebrex)

As with all medications, the cost of Avsola can vary. To find current prices for Avsola in your area, check out GoodRx.com.


The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Before approving coverage for Avsola, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Avsola, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Avsola, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Amgen, the manufacturer of Avsola, offers a co-pay card as well as a support program called Amgen Safety Net Foundation. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 866-264-2778 or visit the manufacturer’s support and resources website.

Generic or biosimilar version

Avsola is a biologic drug and is only available as a brand-name medication. It contains the active drug infliximab-axxq. It’s a biosimilar for infliximab, which is the active drug in Remicade.

Biologic drugs are made from living cells. Nonbiologic drugs are made from chemicals. Drugs made from chemicals have generic versions. A generic is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. But it’s not possible to make an exact copy of a biologic. So instead of a generic, biologics have biosimilars.

Biosimilars are considered just as safe and effective as their parent drug. And biosimilars tend to cost less than brand-name medications, just like generics.

If your doctor has prescribed Avsola and you’re interested in receiving Remicade instead, let them know. They may have a preference for one drug or the other. You’ll also need to check your insurance plan, as it may cover only one or the other.

Avsola is given by IV infusion (an injection into your vein that’s given over a period of time). The drug comes as a powder that your healthcare professional will mix with sterile water to create a solution. Then your healthcare professional will give you the solution of Avsola as an infusion. You’ll usually receive an infusion every few weeks depending on the condition that’s being treated.

Avsola infusions take about 2 hours. During and after your infusion, a healthcare professional will monitor you for infusion reactions.* They may adjust or stop your infusion if you develop infusion reactions. They may also give you medications to treat the reaction.

Before an infusion begins, your doctor may decide to give you medications to help prevent or lessen infusion-related side effects. To learn more about premedications, see the “Premedications” section above.

Some suggestions for preparing for your Avsola infusion include:

  • wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • bringing something to pass the time, such as a book
  • talking with your doctor about whether you should eat or drink before or during the infusion

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect details” section above.

When it’s given

How often you receive an Avsola infusion depends on which condition the medication is being given to treat. For more information, see the “Avsola dosage” section above.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app.

Avsola is prescribed to treat certain autoimmune diseases. With autoimmune diseases, your immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s own organs or tissues.

Avsola works by blocking the action of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). TNF-alpha is an immune system protein that’s involved in causing inflammation (swelling and damage).

When the level of TNF-alpha is too high, as with certain autoimmune conditions, it can cause swelling and damage in your body. Inflammation is responsible for many of the symptoms autoimmune conditions cause, such as pain and stiffness.

By blocking the action of TNF-alpha, Avsola helps reduce inflammation, limiting your immune system from attacking healthy organs and tissues.

How long does it take to work?

Although Avsola begins working right away, you may not see your symptoms ease for several days to weeks. It can take some time for Avsola to affect signals coming from your immune system and reduce inflammation.

If you have questions about how to tell if Avsola is working well for you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

It isn’t known if it’s safe to receive Avsola during pregnancy.

Animal studies haven’t shown any negative effects in the offspring of pregnant animals who were given drugs similar to Avsola. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you take Avsola while pregnant, your infant should not receive any live vaccines* until they’re at least 6 months old. Infants exposed to Avsola before they’re born may have a higher risk of infections if they’re given vaccines too soon after birth. In rare cases, these infections can be fatal.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant while receiving Avsola, talk with your doctor. They can discuss the risks and benefits of continuing to receive Avsola during pregnancy.

* For more information about Avsola and vaccines, see “Live vaccines and infants” in the “Interactions” section above.

It’s not known if Avsola is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re receiving Avsola.

For more information about taking Avsola during pregnancy, see the “Avsola and pregnancy” section above.

Small amounts of Avsola may pass into breast milk during breastfeeding. It’s not known what effect this may have on a child who is breastfed.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed while receiving treatment with Avsola, talk with your doctor. They can discuss the risks and benefits of breastfeeding your child while using the drug.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Avsola.

What should I know about switching from Remicade to Avsola?

If you’d like to switch from Remicade to Avsola, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can provide specific information about receiving Avsola to treat your condition.

Both Avsola and Remicade are given as IV infusions. And these two drugs have identical dosages and dosing schedules. You may be able to receive Avsola at the same clinic where you receive Remicade.

Avsola is a biologic drug. It contains the active drug infliximab-axxq. Avsola is a biosimilar of infliximab, which is the active drug in Remicade.

Biosimilars are considered just as safe and effective as their parent drug. And biosimilars tend to cost less than brand-name medications, just like generic versions. The cost of Avsola vs. Remicade may be a reason for you to switch.

How long does an Avsola infusion take?

Avsola infusions (an injection into your vein that’s given over a period of time) last for about 2 hours.

If you develop an infusion reaction,* the healthcare professional giving you Avsola may pause your infusion. Then they may restart the treatment at a slower infusion rate. They may also choose to use a slower rate for future infusions, to help prevent you from having an infusion reaction again. In this case, your infusions may last longer than 2 hours.

The manufacturer of Avsola has a page dedicated to helping you prepare for your infusion appointments. For more information, visit the drug manufacturer’s website.

If you have additional questions about Avsola infusion, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect details” section above.

How do I prepare for my child for an Avsola infusion?

The manufacturer of Avsola has a page dedicated to helping you prepare for infusion appointments, including an appointment for your child. For more information, visit the drug manufacturer’s website.

You can prepare your child for treatment with Avsola by dressing them in loose-fitting clothing and making sure they drink enough water. During treatment, you may want to provide them with a book or digital device to pass the time.

You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist for more information about your child’s Avsola infusion.

This drug comes with several precautions. It also has two boxed warnings.

FDA warnings

This drug has boxed warnings. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

  • Serious infections. Treatment with Avsola can increase your risk of serious infections, which may require treatment in the hospital. In rare cases, they can lead to death. These infections may include fungal infections throughout your body, bacterial and viral infections, and tuberculosis (TB).

Your doctor will test you for TB before and during your Avsola treatment. If you develop a serious infection while taking Avsola, they’ll have you stop taking the medication.

Since Avsola came on the market, there have been reports of a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of lymphoma was fatal in some cases. It was most common in certain adolescent and young adult males with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease who were also taking certain other medications. While you’re receiving Avsola, your doctor will regularly screen you for cancer.

Other precautions

Before taking Avsola, talk with your doctor about your health history. Avsola may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Heart failure. Treatment with Avsola may worsen heart failure. If you have heart failure and your doctor determines that Avsola is safe for you, they’ll likely start you at a lower dose than usual. They’ll also likely want to monitor your heart while you’re being treated with Avsola.
  • Current infection. Avsola can weaken your immune system, which can make it less able to fight infection. Before starting treatment with Avsola, talk with your doctor if you have a current infection. It may need to be treated, and your doctor may want to delay your Avsola treatment until your infection goes away.
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Talk with your doctor if you currently have HBV, or if you’ve had it in the past. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, such as Avsola, may reactivate HBV (cause symptoms again). Your doctor will test you for HBV before you start treatment with Avsola. If you test positive, they’ll watch for HBV symptoms while you’re taking Avsola. If you start having HBV symptoms, they’ll likely stop your Avsola treatment while your HBV is treated. Your doctor will advise if it’s safe for you to start taking Avsola again.
  • Tuberculosis (TB). Talk with your doctor if you currently have or have had TB in the past. TNF blockers such as Avsola may reactivate TB. Your doctor will test you for TB before you start treatment with Avsola. If you test positive, they’ll want to treat the TB before you start receiving Avsola.
  • Liver problems, such as liver failure. Although rare, Avsola can cause liver problems, including liver failure. Talk with your doctor if you have existing liver problems as you may be at higher risk of this side effect. Your doctor can determine if Avsola is safe for you. They’ll monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of worsening liver function during Avsola treatment.
  • Cancer. If you have or have had cancer, you may be at higher risk than usual for new cancers.*† Talk with your doctor if you have a history of cancer. They can discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with Avsola. If they determine that Avsola is safe for you, they may monitor you more closely than usual.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If you have COPD, you may be at an increased risk of cancer.*† Your doctor can determine if treatment with Avsola is safe for you. If it is, they’ll likely monitor you more closely than usual.
  • Past phototherapy for psoriasis. If you have been treated with phototherapy for psoriasis in the past, you may be at higher risk of certain skin cancers*† with Avsola than usual. Your doctor can determine if Avsola is safe for you. They likely monitor you closely during Avsola treatment.
  • Nervous system disorder. New or worsening central nervous system disorders may occur with Avsola, but this isn’t common. These include multiple sclerosis, seizures, and vision problems. Talk with your doctor if you have or have had a nervous system disorder in the past. They can determine whether Avsola is right for you. If it is, they’ll likely monitor you closely for new or worsening symptoms during treatment with Avsola.
  • Vaccination.‡ Avsola can weaken your immune system. If you get a live vaccine, your immune system may not be able to fight off the virus or bacteria the vaccine contains. This can cause serious infection.*† Talk with your doctor if you’ve recently received a vaccine, or are scheduled to receive a live vaccine. Your doctor may want to delay your Avsola treatment. They’ll also likely check your vaccination history before you begin treatment with Avsola.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to Avsola or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Avsola to you. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known whether Avsola is safe to receive during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Avsola and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It may not be safe to receive Avsola while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Avsola and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Avsola, see the “Avsola side effects” section above.

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect details” section above.
Avsola has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.
‡ For more information about vaccinations, see the “Avsola and vaccines” section above.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.