Update on the management of inflammatory bowel disease: specific role of adalimumab
Luisa Guidi, Daniela Pugliese, Alessandro Armuzzi
Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Complesso Integrato Columbus, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Abstract: Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) medications are a class of biologics employed in the treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Adalimumab is the first fully human monoclonal immunoglobulin directed against TNF-α, which binds with high affinity and specificity to membrane and soluble TNF. Adalimumab administered subcutaneously has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and severe chronic psoriasis. Studies have shown that adalimumab is effective for inducing and maintaining remission of moderate-to-severe active Crohn’s disease (CD) patients at an induction dose of 160/80 mg (week 0 and 2) and at a maintenance dose of 40 mg every other week. The efficacy of adalimumab as a second-line therapy has also been documented for patients with loss of response or intolerance to infliximab. Adalimumab is also superior to placebo for inducing and maintaining complete perianal fistula closure. It also seems effective for reducing extraintestinal manifestations. The safety profile is similar to that of other anti-TNF therapy in CD patients, with lower immunogenicity and rate of adverse injection reactions than infliximab. Adalimumab is not approved for the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC). Recently, however, the results of the first randomized, controlled trial on adalimumab for UC showed that adalimumab at 160/80 mg induction dose was safe and effective for inducing remission and clinical response after 8 weeks in patients with moderately-to-severely active UC failing treatment with corticosteroids and/or immunosuppressants. More data are necessary to clarify the therapeutic role of adalimumab in UC. This review of the literature summarizes available data on the efficacy and safety profile adalimumab in patients with IBD.
Keywords: anti-TNF-α, adalimumab, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
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