Prescribing Patterns and Awareness of Adverse Effects of Infliximab: A Health Survey of Gastroenterologists
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- Donovan, M., Lunney, K., Carter-Pokras, O. et al. Dig Dis Sci (2007) 52: 1798. doi:10.1007/s10620-006-9269-z
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We sought to determine prescribing patterns and awareness of adverse drug reactions to infliximab among gastroenterologists. A questionnaire was developed and mailed to all gastroenterologists in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Ninety-six of 336 (28.6%) gastroenterologists responded; 86% of respondents use infliximab often or sometimes and 48% infuse infliximab on-site. Only 48% of respondents use immunomodulators prior to infusing infliximab. Thirty-three percent of respondents do not prescribe maintenance infliximab. Respondents reported that infusion reactions occur in 12.9% of infliximab infusions. Most respondents order a purified protein derivative prior to starting infliximab. Respondents underestimated the risk of serious infection, death, demyelinating diseases, and malignancy and overestimated the risk of congestive heart failure. We conclude that a substantial number of gastroenterologists underutilize immunomodulators and fail to prescribe maintenance infliximab. Further, respondents were unaware of the frequency of major adverse events associated with infliximab. Education regarding treatment algorithms in CD and infliximab-related side effects is needed.