Adalimumab Effective in Treating Pediatric Crohn’s Disease
Adalimumab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor antibody, appears to successfully maintain disease remission in children with moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease (CD), according to the results of a study in the August 2012 issue of Gastroenterology. The double-blind study included 192 children aged 6 to 17 years with moderate-to-severe CD who were unresponsive to previous treatment. Patients were assigned to a high-dose group, receiving 20 mg or 40 mg of adalimumab every other week, based on body weight, or to a low-dose group, receiving 10 mg or 20 mg of adalimumab every other week, also based on body weight. Response to medication was measured using the Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index.
More than 80% of children in the study responded to adalimumab within a month. By 6 months, approximately 34% of participants were in clinical remission, and after a year, 28.4% were in remission. More children in the high-dose group than in the low-dose group were in remission at 6 months, but the difference was not statistically significant.
The study’s results are encouraging and may point the way to a new approach to treating children with CD. Steroids, which are frequently used to treat CD, can slow growth and put off the start of puberty.
About the Author
Michael C. Wisotsky, PharmD, RPh, practices in Shrewsbury, New Jersey.