Management of Infusion Reactions to Infliximab in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Spondyloarthritis: Experience from an Immunotherapy Unit of Rheumatology
THIERRY LEQUERRÉ, OLIVIER VITTECOQ, NATHALIE KLEMMER, VINCENT GOËB, SOPHIE POUPLIN, JEAN-FRANCOIS MENARD, ALAIN DARAGON, OTHMANE MEJJAD, and XAVIER LE LOËT
Objective. To suggest recommendations for management of acute infusion reactions induced by infliximab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and spondyloarthritis (SpA).
Methods. In total, 203 patients were treated with infliximab (120 ml/h). Prevalence of acute infusion reaction was evaluated. To manage these conditions, recommendations were devised according to the type and the severity of clinical manifestations, which were classified beforehand in 2 groups: A (hypertension, pruritus, sudden flush, vomiting, tachycardia or bradycardia, shivers, fever) and B (urticaria, tickling throat, Quincke's edema, dyspnea, and hypotension). Recommendations were based mainly on adjustment of the infusion rate.
Results. It was observed that 23/203 patients (11.3%) had acute infusion reactions. Among them and prior to our recommendations, infliximab was completely discontinued in 8/23 patients. After our recommendations were implemented, 15/23 patients presented an acute infusion reaction: 8 and 7 patients with symptoms of Group A and B, respectively. In Group A (8 patients), reducing the infusion rate to 60–80 ml/h led to disappearance of symptoms; the modified treatment was then maintained. In Group B (7 patients), the infusion was immediately stopped and appropriate drugs were administered. Once clinical manifestations were alleviated, the infusion was resumed (60 ml/h). Prior to subsequent infusions (60 ml/h), a premedication was administered.
Conclusion. Based on these recommendations, infliximab could be maintained with great efficacy on disease activity in every patient with an acute infusion reaction. Our recommendations permit sustained administration of infliximab and allow every patient to benefit from this therapy. (First Release June 1 2006; J Rheumatol 2006;33:1307–14)
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From the Department of Rheumatology, Rouen University Hospital, Rouen, France.
T. Lequerré, MD, PhD; O. Vittecoq, MD, PhD; N. Klemmer, MD; V. Goëb, MD; S. Pouplin, MD; A. Daragon, MD; O. Mejjad, MD; X. Le Loët, MD, Department of Rheumatology; J-F. Ménard, PhD, Department of Biostatistics, Rouen University Hospital.
Address reprint requests to Dr. T. Lequerré, Department of Rheumatology, Rouen University Hospital, 76031 Rouen Cedex, France. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted for publication February 2, 2006.