Acceptability of switching adalimumab from a prefilled syringe to an autoinjection pen

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2010 Mar;10(3):301-7. doi: 10.1517/14712590903530633.


Objective: To assess patients' acceptance of switching adalimumab from a prefilled syringe to an autoinjection pen.

Methods: A two-phase cross-sectional study. The first phase consisted of a 2-h information/education session to present the pen and assist patients in learning its use. At the end of the session, patients completed a self-administered questionnaire regarding usefulness of the meeting. At the next hospital pharmacy dispensing visit the autoinjection pen was provided. Four single-use prefilled devices (40 mg/0.8 ml every other week) were provided.

Results: The study population included 55 patients (rheumatoid arthritis 29, psoriatic arthritis 17, ankylosing spondylitis 9). Attendees showed a high degree of satisfaction with the education session (between 72.7 and 90.9% rated the relevant items of the questionnaire in the highest category). Fifty-one patients participated in the second phase of the study. Patients reported 100% adherence to treatment with the autoinjection pen. The percentage of patients self-administering medication increased from 51 to 84% and the percentage attending primary care for injection decreased from 33 to 2%. Pain at the injection site was significantly reduced with the use of the autoinjection pen. The mean (sd) visual analogue scale (VAS) score was 3.52 (2.26) for the syringe compared with 2.02 (2.16) for the pen (p < 0.001). Forty-four (86.3%) patients considered that the use of the autoinjection pen was easier than the syringe, and 96.1% chose the pen as their preferred delivery system.

Conclusions: This study provides further evidence to support the use of the autoinjection pen as a delivery option for adalimumab therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Syringes*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Adalimumab