Review article: managing the adverse events caused by anti-TNF therapy in inflammatory bowel disease

Uday N. Shivaji, Caroline L. Sharratt, Tom Thomas, Samuel C. L. Smith, Marietta Iacucci, Gordon W. Moran, Subrata Ghosh, Neeraj Bhala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
404 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Biological therapy is currently widely used to treat IBD. Infliximab, adalimumab and golimumab are currently licensed anti-TNF therapies. Biosimilar anti-TNF monoclonal antibodies are increasingly used. Anti-TNF therapies are widely used and their adverse effects are well characterised, and may cause significant morbidity and mortality in a small proportion of exposed patients. Gastroenterologists need to understand the mechanisms for these effects, recognise these swiftly and manage such events appropriately.

Aim: To cover the range of potential adverse reactions as a result of biologic therapy and specifically management of these events.

Methods: A Medline and Pubmed search was undertaken. Search terms included were “anti-TNF,” “infliximab” or “adalimumab” or “golimumab” combined with the keywords “ulcerative colitis” or “Crohn's disease” or “inflammatory bowel disease” and then narrowed to articles containing the keywords “complications,” “side effects” or “adverse events” or “safety profile.” International guidelines were also reviewed where relevant.

Results: Adverse events discussed in this review include infusion reactions, blood disorders and infections (including bacterial, viral, fungal and opportunistic infections) as well as autoimmune, dermatological disorders, cardiac and neurological conditions. Malignancies including solid organ, haematological and those linked to viral disease are discussed.

Conclusions: Anti-TNF therapy has wide-ranging effects on the immune system resulting in a spectrum of potential adverse events in a small proportion of patients. Research advances are improving the understanding, recognition and management of these adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-680
Number of pages17
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Issue number6
Early online date8 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Shivaji UN, Sharratt CL, Thomas T, et al. Review article: managing the adverse events caused by anti‐TNF therapy in inflammatory bowel disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2019;00:1–18.


  • Crohn’s disease
  • Disease-based, Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Disease-based Ulcerative Colitis
  • Disease-based Biologics (IBD)
  • immunosuppresion
  • Topics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Review article: managing the adverse events caused by anti-TNF therapy in inflammatory bowel disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this