Top Anti-TNF for Ulcerative Colitis

A recent retrospective cohort study (S Singh et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017; 15: 1218-25) compared infliximab and adalimumab in a nationwide Danish cohort of adults with ulcerative colitis (UC) from 2005-2014. The authors used propensity score and selected 171 patients who received infliximab (IFX) from a total of 1580 and 104 patients who received adalimumab (ADA) among a total of 139.

Key findings:

  • Patients who received ADA had higher hospitalization rates (HR 1.84) and a trend toward higher UC-related hospitalization (HR 1.71, CI 0.95-3.07) compared to IFX
  • Risk of abdominal surgery was not significantly higher in ADA patients (HR 1.35) compared to IFX
  • Serious infections were higher in ADA group, HR of 5.11 of needing hospitalization due to infections

There have been no randomized clinical trials  to determine if a specific anti-TNF agent is superior to another. In an associated editorial (MT Osterman, GR Lichtenstein, 1197-99), the authors note that while we don’t know which agent is superior, by comparing similar trials (ACT 1 & 2 for IFX and ULTRA 1 & 2 for ADA), “raw week 8 induction rates of clinical remission, clinical response, and mucosal healing are approximately 16%, 18%, and 19%, respectively, higher for infliximab”..”less dramatic differences favoring infliximab (approximately 9%, 13%, and 15%, respectively) are seen during maintenance at 1 year.”

My take: Due to the lack of randomized head-to-head studies, we do not know with certainty which anti-TNF is best for UC.  However, the data we have from retrospective cohort studies and from using raw data from prospective studies suggests that infliximab is effective in more patients.

Related blog posts:

University of Virginia Rotunda Pctures


Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

2 thoughts on “Top Anti-TNF for Ulcerative Colitis

  1. Pingback: Anti-TNF Therapy: Might Save Your Health But Not Your Wallet | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: What Happens After The First Anti-TNF Agent Doesn’t Work? | gutsandgrowth

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