Infliximab in inflammatory bowel disease. Is premedication necessary?

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Background: The use of infliximab (IFX) in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been associated with a 1-6% risk of infusion reactions. The usefulness of premedication with corticosteroids, paracetamol and /or antihistamines is controversial. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess, in IBD patients on IFX, whether there are differences in secondary reactions to the infusion between those who use premedication or not. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed identifying patients with a diagnosis of IBD who received IFX at our institution between January 2009 and July 2019. Acute reactions were defined as those that occurred in the first 24 hours postinfusion and late reactions for more than 24 hours. Infusion reactions were classified as mild, moderate and severe. Descriptive and association statistics were used (χ2; p < 0.05). Results: Sixty-four patients were included with 1,263 infusions in total, 52% men. Median infusions per patient was 22 (2-66). All induction infusions were administered with premedication, and in maintenance in 57% of them. Premedication was given with hydrocortisone, chlorphenamine and paracetamol. Most of reactions were acute, mild or moderate in severity and no patient needed to discontinue IFX. In the maintenance group, there were 9/718 (1.2%) infusion reactions with premedication and 4/358 (1.1%) without it (p = 0.606). In the induction group, there were 8/187 (4.3%) infusion reactions, significantly higher when compared with both maintenance groups. Conclusions: In this group, premedication use during maintenance was not effective at reducing the rate of infusion reactions. These results suggest that premedication would not be necessary.




Nuñez F., P., Quera, R., Simian, D., Flores, L., Figueroa, C., Ibañez, P., … Pizarro, G. (2021). Infliximab in inflammatory bowel disease. Is premedication necessary? Gastroenterologia y Hepatologia, 44(5), 321–329.

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