So-called TNFα blockers are commonly used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Therapeutic drug monitoring improves the effect of the medication and reduces treatment costs. Here’s what you need to know.
What is therapeutic drug monitoring?
Due to individual pharmacokinetics, drugs are metabolized differently by every patient. This means that different patients show different drug levels even though they receive identical dosage. The idea of therapeutic drug monitoring is to regularly test the drug concentration in the blood and to adjust the dosage accordingly. In this way, every patient receives the optimal dosage.
What are the benefits of therapeutic drug monitoring?
The main benefit for the patients is the individual dose adjustment, improving the effect of the medication. If dosed too low, the drug will not be effective and after some time, a loss of efficiency may occur, which requires a dose increase or a change of medicine. A dosage which is too high unnecessarily strains the body and means higher costs by consuming more medicine than necessary. Therapeutic drug monitoring ensures the optimal dose, improving therapy and reducing treatment costs.
How does therapeutic drug monitoring work in IBD treatment?
In inflammatory bowel diseases, the immune system continuously produces TNFα, resulting in a permanent inflammation. Treatment consists of TNFα blockers which interrupt the signal and thereby reduce or stop the inflammation. TNFα blockers include the drugs Infliximab (Remicade®, RemsimaTM und Inflectra®) and Adalimumab (Humira®). Special tests allow measuring the concentration of these drugs in the patient’s blood. In addition to ELISA tests such as RIDASCREEN® IFX Monitoring, there is also a quantitative rapid test for point-of-care testing (RIDA®QUICK IFX Monitoring), which provides a result in only 20 minutes.
The following video shows the test procedure using the rapid test.
What other trends are there in the treatment of IBD?
That is something you can best find out at the ECCO in Barcelona from February 15 to 18. The congress of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation is the leading event for IBD and offers interesting insights into the current state of research. Of course, R-Biopharm will be there, too – you will find us in the exhibition hall at booth No. 13.