Posted by Dave on Mar 11, 2013
There has been a number of ‘unofficial’ warnings recently about TNF blockers causing various and numerous infections, typically respiratory infections. Just over a year ago the FDA decided to take action on the growing concerns about documented infections linked to TNF blockers. This press release below covers the official warning.
The Food and Drug Administration has updated the boxed warning for all tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) inhibiting drugs to reflect the risk of infection from the bacteria Legionella and Listeria.
There now have been more than 100 cases of infection with these pathogens, according to the agency.
The TNFα inhibitors licensed in the United States are infliximab (Remicade), etanercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), and golimumab (Simponi).
The drugs are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Serious infections involving viral, bacterial, and mycobacterial pathogens are a recognized risk of treatment with these and other immunosuppressive drugs.
A total of 80 cases of Legionella pneumonia have been reported to the FDA among patients receiving TNFα inhibitors, most often for rheumatoid arthritis.
Median age of affected patients was 56.
Median duration of TNFα inhibitor treatment was 10.4 months, but cases occurred as early as within one month and as late as 73 months after beginning treatment.
Many of the patients were also being treated with methotrexate and corticosteroids, and 14 deaths occurred.
There are alternatives worth considering to TNF blocking drugs, which do not suit every. In fact there deaths linked to these drugs. Here’s some details about natural TNF blockers.