Infection risk with anti-TNFs early in IBD

Serious infection risk in people with inflammatory bowel disease treated with anti-TNFs is increased mainly at the start of treatment, a large national registry study shows.

The study of 52 392 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) found a statistically significant 63% increased risk of serious infections in people treated with  TNF-α inhibitors within 90 days of the start of treatment.

However when the researchers assessed the risk of serious infection during a longer follow-up period  (365 days) the association was attenuated and only reached statistical significance for skin and soft tissue infections.

“The results suggest that clinical vigilance of potential infectious complications is indicated in people treated with TNF-α inhibitors for inflammatory bowel disease, especially early in the course of treatment,” they wrote in the BMJ.

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