Intensification of infliximab therapy in Crohn's disease: efficacy and safety

J Crohns Colitis. 2012 Feb;6(1):62-7. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2011.07.005. Epub 2011 Aug 20.


Introduction: The response of Crohn's disease (CD) to infliximab is initially good, although a loss of efficacy is observed over time. Dose escalation has been recommended in such cases.

Aims: To study the response to an intensified infliximab regimen in patients with CD; and to evaluate the adverse effects associated with intensification of therapy and identify predictors of loss of response.

Methods: We performed a retrospective multicenter survey of all patients with CD who had been treated with at least the 3 induction doses of standard infliximab therapy, and for whom treatment had to be intensified due to loss of response. We analyzed the efficacy of the intensified regimen.

Results: Thirty-three patients were included. After the first intensification dose, 79% of patients had a clinical response (33.5% complete response, 45.5% partial response). In the long term, 83%, 69%, 47%, and 29% of patients who had an initial response to the intensification maintained the response at 6, 12, 18, and 36 months, respectively. The loss of efficacy after escalation was 43% per patient-year of follow-up. One patient had an infusion reaction after 36 doses. One patient developed a herpes zoster infection.

Conclusions: A high proportion of patients whose dose of infliximab is increased due to loss of efficacy respond initially. However, nearly half lose the response after one year. The safety profile of an intensified infliximab regimen is good.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Infliximab