Background: Infliximab is a widely used biological agent for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, and has a favorable risk/benefit ratio. Aim: It is useful to know that patients treated with infliximab are exposed to developing adverse events that could be reduced with a prudent and a rational clinical approach and by optimizing the treatment protocol. Methods: PubMed (including Epub) was searched in October 2006 and again in March 2007. Results: The high immunogenic potential of infliximab determines the antibodies that inhibit the effect of infliximab and the appearance of subsequent acute and delayed infusion reactions. Infliximab has an immunomodulatory effect, thus increasing the risk of serious and latent infections. Screening for tuberculosis, HBV, opportunistic or latent infections, heart failure, and haematological, neurological and hepatological disorders must be performed before infliximab therapy. There is no definitive evidence that infliximab increases the risk of neoplasia. Mortality in infliximab-treated patients does not appear increased compared to the controls. Conclusions: Infliximab safety is similar to that of conventional immunomodulators and patients treated had similar rates of mortality, neoplasm and lymphoma as patients not treated with infliximab. Patients treated with infliximab have an increased risk of serious infections but it is not related to infliximab therapy.
- Inflammatory bowel disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas