A Pilot Study of Adalimumab in Infliximab-Allergic Patients

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The anti-TNF-α antibody infliximab (Remicade) is highly effective in the treatment of Crohn's disease. A subset of patients experience allergic reactions as a result of antibodies to infliximab (ATIs). The purpose of the current study is to describe the safety and efficacy of adalimumab (Humira) in patients previously allergic or intolerant to infliximab. Adalimumab is an anti-TNF-α agent containing only human peptide sequences. Seven patients have been treated with adalimumab who had experienced immediate- or delayed-hypersensitivity reactions to infliximab and one with infliximab-induced lupus. Except for injection site discomfort, adalimumab was well tolerated without signs or symptoms of allergic reactions. One patient who had previously received pooled human immunoglobulin developed a pruritic rash after each dose of adalimumab. Patients with active disease who had previously experienced a robust response to infliximab responded to adalimumab as reflected by an improvement in Harvey-Bradshaw index and inflammatory markers. Based on these preliminary data, adalimumab may be a safe and effective substitute for infliximab-allergic patients. Individuals who have been exposed to human antibodies may be sensitized to other human antibodies such as adalimumab.

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