Developments in the treatment of moderate to severe ulcerative colitis: focus on adalimumab
Hugh J Freeman
Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Abstract: In selected patients with moderate to severe active ulcerative colitis who have failed to respond or are poorly responsive to standard pharmacologic forms of treatment with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents, therapy with a biological agent may be considered. While infliximab is an established tumor necrosis factor blocker and has a longer history of clinical use, adalimumab is an alternative in the same class and may be employed as an initial biological agent, if indicated for treatment of the disease. Adalimumab may have special appeal to stable users able to self-inject in a home setting rather than a centralized infusion center. Short-term adverse effects have been limited, but long-term adverse events can be serious and remain less well defined. Recently, another agent, subcutaneous golimumab, has also been reported to induce and maintain clinical response and remission in clinical trials, but a large experience has not been accumulated to date in clinical practice. In the future, other biological agents with novel and distinct mechanisms of therapeutic action may become available.
Keywords: ulcerative colitis, anti-tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, biological therapy, infliximab, adalimumab
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