Successful reduction of overexposure in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with high serum adalimumab concentrations: an open-label, non-inferiority, randomised clinical trial

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OBJECTIVE: High adalimumab serum concentrations do not result in better response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), suggesting overexposure. We investigated whether patients with adalimumab concentrations >8 µg/mL can prolong their dosing interval by 50% without a clinically relevant change in disease activity.

METHODS: Consecutive patients with RA, treated with adalimumab 40 mg every other week for at least 28 weeks, were approached for this randomised, open-label, non-inferiority trial. Patients with adalimumab trough concentrations >8 µg/mL were randomly (1:1) assigned to dose-interval prolongation of once every 3 weeks or continuation of every other week. Primary outcome was the change in disease activity score of 28 joints (ΔDAS28-ESR) after 28 weeks, with a non-inferiority margin of 0.6 points.

RESULTS: In total, 147 patients were screened. Fifty-five patients had concentrations >8 µg/mL and were randomised. Mean ΔDAS28 after 28 weeks was -0.14±SD 0.61 in the prolongation group and 0.30±0.52 in the continuation group. Mean difference was significantly in favour of the prolongation group: 0.44 (95% CI 0.12 to 0.76, p=0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Adalimumab-treated patients with RA with trough concentrations >8 µg/mL can prolong their standard dosing interval to once every 3 weeks without loss of disease control.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-487
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of the rheumatic diseases
Issue number4
Early online date22 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


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