Introduction: Adalimumab is effective in inducing and maintaining response/remission in patients with Crohn's disease either naive to biological therapies or after secondary failure of infliximab.
Aim: To present the first 'real-life' survey data from England and Ireland on the use of adalimumab.
Method: A retrospective audit conducted through a web-based questionnaire in England/Ireland.
Results: We analysed data on 61 patients (35 female, 26 male) with a median age of 33 years (range 17-71 years) and an average follow-up of 8 months. The maximal maintenance dose was 40 mg every other week in 84% of patients, 40 mg weekly in 13% and 80 mg weekly in 3%. Maintenance adalimumab achieved remission in 57% of patients. The ongoing response rate was 83.6%. An additional 8% had a secondary loss of response after an average of 8.4 months (range 2-17). Adverse effects were observed in 23% of patients: of which there was local pain in 29%, infection in 36%, headaches in 14%, leucopenia (on azathioprine) in 7%, a painful rash in 7% and serum-sickness-type reaction in 7%. Adverse events led to discontinuation in two patients.
Conclusion: This English/Irish audit shows an acceptable response/remission and safety profile of adalimumab in the treatment of Crohn's disease. In contrast to earlier data from Scotland, dose escalation was only observed in 16% of patients. The majority of responders were steroid-free at follow-up.