Infliximab (IFX) has tremendously enriched the therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and other immune mediated diseases. Although the efficacy of IFX was undoubtedly proven during the last decade numerous publications have also caused various safety concerns. To summarize the immense information concerning adverse events and safety issues the Austrian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology launched this evidence based consensus on the safe use of IFX which covers the following topics: infusion reactions and immunogenicity, skin reactions, opportunistic infections (including tuberculosis), non-opportunistic infections (bacterial and viral), vaccination, neurological complications, hepatotoxicity, congestive heart failure, haematological side effects, intestinal strictures, stenosis and bowel obstruction (SSO), concomitant medication, malignancy and lymphoma, IFX in the elderly and the young, mortality, fertility, pregnancy and breast feeding. To make the vast amount of information practicable for routine application the consensus was finally condensed into a checklist for a safe use of IFX which consists of two parts: issues to be addressed prior to anti-TNF therapy and issues to be addressed during maintenance. Both parts are further divided into obligatory and facultative items.
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