The Safety Profile of Infliximab in Patients with Crohn's Disease: The Mayo Clinic Experience in 500 Patients

Jean Frederic Colombel, Edward V. Loftus, William J. Tremaine, Laurence J. Egan, W. Scott Harmsen, Cathy D. Schleck, Alan R. Zinsmeister, William J. Sandborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

811 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the short- and long-term safety of infliximab in patients with Crohn's disease in clinical practice. Methods: The medical records of 500 consecutive patients treated with infliximab at the Mayo Clinic were reviewed and abstracted for demographic features and adverse events. The likelihood of a causal relationship to infliximab for each adverse event was determined by calculating an intrinsic likelihood (imputability) score. Results: The 500 patients received a median of 3 infusions and had a median follow-up of 17 months. Forty-three patients (8.6%) experienced a serious adverse event, of which 30 (6%) were related to infliximab. Acute infusion reactions occurred in 19 of 500 patients (3.8%). Serum sickness-like disease occurred in 19 of 500 patients and was attributed to infliximab in 14 (2.8%). Three patients developed drug-induced lupus. One patient developed a new demyelination disorder. Forty-eight patients had an infectious event, of which 41 (8.2%) were attributed to infliximab. Twenty patients had a serious infection: 2 had fatal sepsis, 8 had pneumonia (of which 2 cases were fatal), 6 had viral infections, 2 had abdominal abscesses requiring surgery, one had arm cellulitis, and one had histoplasmosis. Nine patients had a malignant disorder, 3 of which were possibly related to infliximab. A total of 10 deaths were observed. For 5 of these patients (1%), the events leading to death were possibly related to infliximab. Conclusions: Short- and long-term infliximab therapy is generally well tolerated. However, clinicians must be vigilant for the occurrence of infrequent but serious events, including serum sickness-like reaction, opportunistic infection and sepsis, and autoimmune disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
Issue number1 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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