[Adalimumab for the treatment of Crohn's disease - consensus paper of the Working Group "chronic inflammatory bowel diseases" of the Austrian Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology].
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The advent of anti-TNF alpha antibodies has clearly improved the outcome of patients with Crohn's disease. With adalimumab, the first fully human, monoclonal anti-TNF alpha antibody, which can be administered subcutaneously by means of a pen, became available in 2007. In Europe adalimumab is approved for the treatment of severe, active Crohn's disease, in patients who have not responded despite a full and adequate course of therapy with a corticosteroid and/or an immunosuppressant; or who are intolerant to or have medical contraindications for such therapies. Adalimumab is clinically efficacious both in patients with Crohn's disease naïve to previous exposure to anti-TNF alpha antibodies and in those previously exposed with a rapid onset of action and a confirmed maintenance performance over 3 years. A reduction in the rate of hospitalisation and an improvement of health-related quality of life are associated with this treatment. The safety profile of adalimumab is comparable to those of other TNF alpha inhibitors. Due to low immunogenicity, allergic reactions are rare. A careful screening of patients before and during treatment with adalimumab is of key importance. The presented therapy guidelines based on existing evidence are aimed to assist in the efficient and safe use of adalimumab in the treatment of Crohn's disease.
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