Randomized Crossover Comparison of Injection Site Pain with 40 mg/0.4 or 0.8 mL Formulations of Adalimumab in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Academic Article uri icon

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  • Abstract Introduction Adalimumab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor antibody, is currently available in a 40 mg/0.8 mL formulation. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate injection site-related pain, safety, and tolerability of a 40 mg/0.4 mL formulation of adalimumab that had fewer excipients, a smaller volume, and a delivery presentation with a smaller gauge needle, versus the current 40 mg/0.8 mL formulation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods Two identically designed, phase 2, randomized, single-blind, two-period crossover studies were conducted in Belgium and the Czech Republic (Study 1) and Australia, Canada, and Germany (Study 2). In both studies, adults with RA [biologic-naive or current users of 40 mg/0.8 mL adalimumab with an average injection site-related pain rating ≥3 cm on a visual analog scale (VAS; 0–10 cm)] were randomized to receive 40 mg/0.8 mL or 40 mg/0.4 mL adalimumab at visit 1. After 1–2 weeks (depending on patient medication schedule), patients received the other formulation at visit 2. A pain VAS [McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ-SF)] and the Draize scale were evaluated immediately after injection and 15 min postinjection. The primary endpoint was immediate pain after injection. Results 64 and 61 patients were randomized in Studies 1 and 2, respectively. Both studies found a clinically relevant and statistically significant lower immediate pain after injection for the 40 mg/0.4 mL versus the 40 mg/0.8 mL formulation. The mean difference on the VAS for the pooled data (−2.48 cm) was also clinically relevant. Most other endpoints in both studies favored the 40 mg/0.4 mL formulation, and its tolerability and safety profile were consistent with 40 mg/0.8 mL adalimumab. Conclusion A 40 mg/0.4 mL adalimumab formulation was well tolerated and associated with less injection site-related pain than the 40 mg/0.8 mL adalimumab formulation. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT01561313 and NCT01502423. Funding AbbVie.


  • Nash, Peter
  • Vanhoof, Johan
  • Hall, Stephen
  • Arulmani, Udayasankar
  • Tarzynski-Potempa, Rita
  • Unnebrink, Kristina
  • Payne, Andrew N
  • Cividino, Alfred

publication date

  • December 2016