Introduction: In the last couple of years, the number of patients with chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases being treated with TNF α antagonist has increased dramatically. Adalimumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody against TNF α, is one of the most frequently administered TNF α antagonists. Yet, unresolved issues are the long-term safety of TNF α antagonists and high treatment costs.
Areas covered: The authors summarize the available data on short- and long-term efficacy and safety of adalimumab in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. The reader will find a comprehensive overview on the safety and efficacy of adalimumab for these conditions. Clinically relevant questions of adalimumab therapy are discussed. A special focus of this review is on the safety of adalimumab therapy.
Expert opinion: Adalimumab is effective and reasonably safe in the short- and long-term treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis who do not respond to the standard therapy. It inhibits radiographic progression in rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Treatment with a TNF α inhibitor such as adalimumab is associated with high treatment costs.