* The tumor necrosis factor a blocker infliximab (Remicade) is now approved for use in children six years of age or older with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis who haven't responded to other treatment.
* Infliximab is an immune suppressant and places the patient at risk for serious infections such as tuberculosis, fungal diseases, bacterial sepsis, Legionnaires' disease, infection from Listeria, and other serious opportunistic infections. Children and adolescents also appear to have an increased risk of lymphoma and other malignancies.
* Nurses need to teach infection prevention and closely monitor for infusion reactions in addition to infections
Diane S. Aschenbrenner is the course coordinator for undergraduate pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD. She also coordinates Drug Watch: email@example.com.