Early clinical experience with adalimumab in treatment of inflammatory bowel disease with infliximab-treated and naive patients

Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Columbia University Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 5.73). 11/2008; 29(3):273-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03878.x
Source: PubMed


Adalimumab, at an induction dose of 160/80 mg followed by 40 mg every other week is approved for treatment of refractory Crohn's disease (CD) and for patients with loss of response to infliximab.
To evaluate the indications for adalimumab, the proportion of inflammatory bowel disease patients who require dose escalation and to identify whether this strategy is effective in inducing or maintaining remission.
Patients prescribed adalimumab for CD were identified and included for analysis, if they had follow-up of at least 6 weeks. Adalimumab dose was escalated if patients had return of symptoms prior to next dose. Clinical judgment was used to determine severity of disease. A second GI physician confirmed disease severity as determined by the first physician.
A total of 48 out of 60 patients met inclusion criteria. Adalimumab was used to treat CD in 47/48 (98%) and ulcerative colitis in one (2%). Most patients had moderate 30/48 (63%) or severe 17/48 (35%) disease. Prior infliximab exposure was present in 42/48 (88%). Adalimumab dose escalation occurred in 14/48 (29%) within an average time of 2.2 months (s.d. 1.5 months). A majority of patients who required dose escalation, nine of 14 (64%) did not improve clinically. Steroids could be discontinued in three of 16 (18.8%). Clinical improvement was noted in 21/48 (43.8%) and one of 48 (2%) patients achieved clinical remission. Adverse drug reactions necessitated drug discontinuation in four of 48 (8%) of patients.
This retrospective review from a single academic medical centre suggests that a minority of patients, who cannot be maintained on 40 mg every other week, of adalimumab benefit from an increased dose. This suggests the need for a treatment with an alternative mode of action in anti-TNF failures.

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