Background: 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. Aim: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)