Infliximab-Related Infusion Reactions: Systematic Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Administration of infliximab is associated with a well-recognised risk of infusion reactions. Lack of a mechanism-based rationale for their prevention, and absence of adequate and well-controlled studies, has led to the use of diverse empirical administration protocols. The aim of this study is to perform a systematic review of the evidence behind the strategies for preventing infusion reactions to infliximab, and for controlling the reactions once they occur.

METHODS: We conducted extensive search of electronic databases of MEDLINE [PubMed] for reports that communicate various aspects of infusion reactions to infliximab in IBD patients.

RESULTS: We examined full texts of 105 potentially eligible articles. No randomised controlled trials that pre-defined infusion reaction as a primary outcome were found. Three RCTs evaluated infusion reactions as a secondary outcome; another four RCTs included infusion reactions in the safety evaluation analysis; and 62 additional studies focused on various aspects of mechanism/s, risk, primary and secondary preventive measures, and management algorithms. Seven studies were added by a manual search of reference lists of the relevant articles. A total of 76 original studies were included in quantitative analysis of the existing strategies.

CONCLUSIONS: There is still paucity of systematic and controlled data on the risk, prevention, and management of infusion reactions to infliximab. We present working algorithms based on systematic and extensive review of the available data. More randomised controlled trials are needed in order to investigate the efficacy of the proposed preventive and management algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-815
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Crohn’s disease
  • Infliximab
  • adverse drug reaction
  • drug allergy
  • drug hypersensitivity
  • drug toxicity
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • infusion reactions
  • ulcerative colitis


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