Anti-TNF-alpha inhibitors: a new therapeutic approach for inflammatory immune-mediated diseases: an update upon efficacy and adverse events

Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. Jul-Sep 2009;22(3):557-65. doi: 10.1177/039463200902200301.


The ongoing progresses in the knowledge of the pathogenic mechanisms of various inflammatory or immune-mediated diseases and the availability of innovative biotechnological approaches have lead to the development of new drugs which add to conventional treatments. TNF-alpha inhibitors (infliximab, adalimumab and etanercept) have demonstrated efficacy either as monotherapy or in combination with other anti-inflammatory or disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The efficacy and safety profile of the TNF-alpha inhibitors can be considered, in general, as a class effect. Nevertheless, some differences may exist among the three agents. In this paper, we will briefly review the indications for the use of the three TNF-alpha inhibitors, the pre-treatment considerations and the reported adverse events.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Etanercept
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Infliximab
  • Opportunistic Infections / etiology
  • Patient Selection
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis / etiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab
  • Adalimumab
  • Etanercept