A medication called infliximab, which is used as an infusion, has a low rate of side effects. This medication is used to treat autoimmune diseases, including Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Adverse drug events (ADEs) were rare and serious ADEs nonexistent in a retrospective, two-year study of nearly 1,900 home and alternate treatment site infusions of infliximab for patients with autoimmune disorders, presented March 22 by Option Care at the National Home Infusion Association Annual Conference & Exposition.
The study involved 291 adult and pediatric patients who received a total of 1,866 infusions of infliximab between May 1, 2012 and May 31, 2014. There was an overall rate of ADEs of 4.2%, with none severe and 13 (0.7%) moderate. Most of the infusions (77.2%) were delivered in the home setting, and 22% were delivered in an alternate treatment site such as an infusion center.
“These findings add to the growing body of evidence that home infusion administered by a high-quality provider is safe and effective,” Kendra Curry, PharmD, the corporate director of Option Care Specialty Infusion Programs, told SPC, adding that they are consistent with the range for ADE rates reported in published infliximab infusion studies of patients treated in various settings, including the home, alternate treatment sites, hospital and medical office.
For example, in a 2012 study involving 200 patients and a total of 4,399 infliximab infusions over a two-year period at a Vancouver, Canada, arthritis center, the overall ADE rate was 5.8%, with 42.6% of the reactions being mild and 43.8% moderate (J Rheumatol 2012;39:1539-1545). Another Canadian study, specifically focused on infliximab in the community clinic setting, found an overall 2.5% ADE rate, with 0.1% of the reactions being severe. Neither of these studies, however, included infusions provided in the home care setting.
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