Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is used to measure the concentration of an active ingredient in the patient’s blood. Using this information, physicians can adjust the dose individually to the patient. Tests that deliver immediate results are needed to obtain the greatest possible benefit from monitoring.
Quick tests have become indispensable in many medical fields, including, for example the diagnosis of infectious diseases. The tests allow for simple and rapid diagnosis on site, avoiding the need to send the samples to a central laboratory. This gives patients assurance and enables the physician to initiate appropriate treatment without delay.
Advantages of quick tests:
- Rapid availability of test results
- Easy to perform
- Require only minimal laboratory equipment
- Suitable for individual testing
- Appropriate treatment can be implemented immediately
Quick tests are of great interest in therapeutic medication monitoring, since effective therapy adjustment is possible only when the concentration of the active ingredient in the patient’s blood is precisely known. With conventional tests, however, it usually takes a week before the result is known. In practical terms, this means that the patient receives a new infusion at his/her medical appointment without the exact trough level concentration being known. The dose cannot be adjusted until the next infusion. In contrast, quick tests can provide results within a few minutes. This means that the dose can be adjusted without delay, which improves the efficacy of the treatment.
Drug monitoring made easy
Due to its great benefits, therapeutic drug monitoring is being used for an ever increasing number of drugs — such as infliximab (IFX). The TNF-α blocker is one of the most commonly administered active ingredients worldwide. It is used as an immunosuppressive drug for chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease as well as for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. For infliximab to have an optimum effect, it is important to test the trough level concentrations regularly and to adjust the dose accordingly. In this way, the therapy can be optimized and the costs of treatment reduced, as was demonstrated in the TAXIT study conducted by the University of Leuven (KU Leuven).
Point-of-care tests are in high demand for this purpose. Validated by KU Leuven, the new RIDA®QUICK IFX Monitoring is a quick test for determining the trough level of infliximab. The quantitative immunochromatographic lateral flow test is highly specific and delivers results within only 20 minutes. The following video shows how drug monitoring works using the RIDA®QUICK IFX Monitoring quick test.