Selective TNF-α inhibitor-induced injection site reactions

Giuseppe Murdaca, Francesca Spanò, Francesco Puppo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: During the last decade, many new biological immune modulators entered the market as new therapeutic principles. TNF-α is a pro-inflammatory cytokine known to a have a key role in the pathogenic mechanisms of various immune-mediated or inflammatory diseases. TNF-α blockers have demonstrated efficacy in large, randomized controlled clinical trials either as monotherapy or in combination with other anti-inflammatory or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Areas covered: Although generally well tolerated and safe, potential adverse events may be associated with TNF-α inhibitor treatment. The authors will briefly review the potential adverse drug reactions and the immunological mechanisms of injection site reactions (ISRs) in patients treated with etanercept and adalimumab. Expert opinion: Patients treated with TNF-α inhibitors can develop ISR around the sites of injections. 'Type IV delayed type reaction' or 'recall ISRs'. Eosinophilic cellulitis or 'Wells syndrome', 'Type III' and 'Type I' reactions are reported. Long-term studies are necessary to determine the durability of response and the real risk of ISRs with golimumab and certolizumab pegol. Further studies are also necessary to evaluate the immunogenicity of these drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Adalimumab
  • Adverse drug reaction
  • Etanercept
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Injection site reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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