Fausel R.,University of Washington |
Afzali A.,University of Washington |
Afzali A.,edicine Harborview Medical Center
Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management | Year: 2015
Ulcerative colitis can cause debilitating symptoms and complications such as colonic strictures, colonic dysplasia, colorectal cancer, and toxic megacolon or perforation. Goals of treatment in ulcerative colitis include resolution of gastrointestinal symptoms, healing of colonic mucosa, and prevention of disease complications. Our treatment armamentarium has expanded dramatically over the past 10 years, and we now have multiple biologic agents approved for the treatment of moderate-severe disease, in addition to conventional therapies such as 5-aminosalicylates, thiopurines, and corticosteroids. In this review, we will provide a detailed discussion of the three tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors currently approved for treatment of ulcerative colitis: infliximab, adalimumab, and golimumab. All three agents are effective for inducing and maintaining clinical response and remission in patients with ulcerative colitis, and they have comparable safety profiles. There are no head-to-head trials comparing their efficacy, and the choice of agent is most often based on insurance coverage, route of administration, and patient preference. Combination therapy with an immunomodulator is proven to be more effective than anti-TNF monotherapy, and patients who lose response to an anti-TNF agent should undergo dose intensification in order to regain clinical response. Despite therapeutic optimization, a significant percentage of patients will not achieve clinical remission with anti-TNF agents, and so newer therapies are on the horizon. © 2015 Fausel and Afzali.