Traceability: In order to improve traceability of biological medicinal products, the name and the batch number of the administered product should be clearly recorded.
Infections: Patients taking TNF-antagonists are more susceptible to serious infections. Impaired lung function may increase the risk for developing infections. Patients must therefore be monitored closely for infections, including tuberculosis, before, during and after treatment with Idacio. Because the elimination of adalimumab may take up to four months, monitoring should be continued throughout this period.
Treatment with Idacio should not be initiated in patients with active infections including chronic or localised infections until infections are controlled. In patients who have been exposed to tuberculosis and patients who have travelled in areas of high risk of tuberculosis or endemic mycoses, such as histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis, the risk and benefits of treatment with Idacio should be considered prior to initiating therapy (see Other opportunistic infections as follows).
Patients who develop a new infection while undergoing treatment with Idacio, should be monitored closely and undergo a complete diagnostic evaluation. Administration of Idacio should be discontinued if a patient develops a new serious infection or sepsis, and appropriate antimicrobial or antifungal therapy should be initiated until the infection is controlled. Physicians should exercise caution when considering the use of Idacio in patients with a history of recurring infection or with underlying conditions which may predispose patients to infections, including the use of concomitant immunosuppressive medications.
Serious infections: Serious infections including sepsis, due to bacterial, mycobacterial, invasive fungal, parasitic, viral, or other opportunistic infections such as listeriosis, legionellosis and pneumocystis have been reported in patients receiving adalimumab.
Other serious infections seen in clinical trials include pneumonia, pyelonephritis, septic arthritis and septicaemia. Hospitalisation or fatal outcomes associated with infections have been reported.
Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis, including reactivation and new onset of tuberculosis, has been reported in patients receiving adalimumab. Reports included cases of pulmonary and extra-pulmonary (i.e. disseminated) tuberculosis.
Before initiation of therapy with Idacio, all patients must be evaluated for both active or inactive ("latent") tuberculosis infection. This evaluation should include a detailed medical assessment of patient history of tuberculosis or possible previous exposure to people with active tuberculosis and previous and/or current immunosuppressive therapy. Appropriate screening tests (i.e. tuberculin skin test and chest X-ray) should be performed in all patients (local recommendations may apply). It is recommended that the conduct and results of these tests are recorded in the patient reminder card. Prescribers are reminded of the risk of false negative tuberculin skin test results, especially in patients who are severely ill or immunocompromised.
If active tuberculosis is diagnosed, Idacio therapy must not be initiated (see Contraindications).
In all situations described as follows, the benefit/risk balance of therapy should be very carefully considered.
If latent tuberculosis is suspected, a physician with expertise in the treatment of tuberculosis should be consulted.
If latent tuberculosis is diagnosed, appropriate treatment must be started with anti-tuberculosis prophylaxis treatment before the initiation of Idacio, and in accordance with local recommendations.
Use of anti-tuberculosis prophylaxis treatment should also be considered before the initiation of Idacio in patients with several or significant risk factors for tuberculosis despite a negative test for tuberculosis and in patients with a past history of latent or active tuberculosis in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed.
Despite prophylactic treatment for tuberculosis, cases of reactivated tuberculosis have occurred in patients treated with adalimumab. Some patients who have been successfully treated for active tuberculosis have redeveloped tuberculosis while being treated with adalimumab.
Patients should be instructed to seek medical advice if signs/symptoms suggestive of a tuberculosis infection (e.g. persistent cough, wasting/weight loss, low grade fever, listlessness) occur during or after therapy with Idacio.
Other opportunistic infections: Opportunistic infections, including invasive fungal infections have been observed in patients receiving adalimumab. These infections have not consistently been recognised in patients taking TNF-antagonists and this has resulted in delays in appropriate treatment, sometimes resulting in fatal outcomes.
For patients who develop the signs and symptoms such as fever, malaise, weight loss, sweats, cough, dyspnoea, and/or pulmonary infiltrates or other serious systemic illness with or without concomitant shock an invasive fungal infection should be suspected and administration of Idacio should be promptly discontinued. Diagnosis and administration of empiric antifungal therapy in these patients should be made in consultation with a physician with expertise in the care of patients with invasive fungal infections.
Hepatitis B reactivation: Reactivation of hepatitis B has occurred in patients receiving a TNF-antagonist including adalimumab, who are chronic carriers of this virus (i.e. surface antigen positive). Some cases have had a fatal outcome. Patients should be tested for HBV infection before initiating treatment with Idacio. For patients who test positive for hepatitis B infection, consultation with a physician with expertise in the treatment of hepatitis B is recommended.
Carriers of HBV who require treatment with Idacio should be closely monitored for signs and symptoms of active HBV infection throughout therapy and for several months following termination of therapy. Adequate data from treating patients who are carriers of HBV with anti-viral therapy in conjunction with TNF-antagonist therapy to prevent HBV reactivation are not available. In patients who develop HBV reactivation, Idacio should be stopped and effective anti-viral therapy with appropriate supportive treatment should be initiated.
Neurological events: TNF-antagonists including adalimumab have been associated in rare instances with new onset or exacerbation of clinical symptoms and/or radiographic evidence of central nervous system demyelinating disease including multiple sclerosis and optic neuritis, and peripheral demyelinating disease, including Guillain-Barré syndrome. Prescribers should exercise caution in considering the use of Idacio in patients with pre-existing or recent-onset central or peripheral nervous system demyelinating disorders; discontinuation of Idacio should be considered if any of these disorders develop.
Allergic reactions: Serious allergic reactions associated with adalimumab were rare during clinical trials. Non-serious allergic reactions associated with adalimumab were uncommon during clinical trials. Reports of serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis have been received following adalimumab administration. If an anaphylactic reaction or other serious allergic reaction occurs, administration of Idacio should be discontinued immediately and appropriate therapy initiated.
Immunosuppression: In a study of 64 patients with rheumatoid arthritis that were treated with adalimumab, there was no evidence of depression of delayed-type hypersensitivity, depression of immunoglobulin levels, or change in enumeration of effector T-, B-, NK-cells, monocyte/macrophages, and neutrophils.
Malignancies and lymphoproliferative disorders: In the controlled portions of clinical trials of TNF-antagonists, more cases of malignancies including lymphoma have been observed among patients receiving a TNF-antagonist compared with control patients. However, the occurrence was rare. In the post marketing setting, cases of leukaemia have been reported in patients treated with a TNF-antagonist. There is an increased background risk for lymphoma and leukaemia in rheumatoid arthritis patients with long-standing, highly active, inflammatory disease, which complicates the risk estimation. With the current knowledge, a possible risk for the development of lymphomas, leukaemia, and other malignancies in patients treated with a TNF-antagonist cannot be excluded.
Malignancies, some fatal, have been reported among children, adolescents and young adults (up to 22 years of age) treated with TNF-antagonists (initiation of therapy ≤ 18 years of age), including adalimumab in the post marketing setting. Approximately half the cases were lymphomas. The other cases represented a variety of different malignancies and included rare malignancies usually associated with immunosuppression. A risk for the development of malignancies in children and adolescents treated with TNF-antagonists cannot be excluded.
Rare post-marketing cases of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma have been identified in patients treated with adalimumab. This rare type of T-cell lymphoma has a very aggressive disease course and is usually fatal. Some of these hepatosplenic T-cell lymphomas with adalimumab have occurred in young adult patients on concomitant treatment with azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine used for inflammatory bowel disease. The potential risk with the combination of azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine and adalimumab should be carefully considered. A risk for the development of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma in patients treated with Idacio cannot be excluded (see Adverse Reactions).
No studies have been conducted that include patients with a history of malignancy or in whom treatment with adalimumab is continued following development of malignancy. Thus additional caution should be exercised in considering Idacio treatment of these patients (see Adverse Reactions).
All patients, and in particular patients with a medical history of extensive immunosuppressant therapy or psoriasis patients with a history of PUVA treatment should be examined for the presence of non-melanoma skin cancer prior to and during treatment with Idacio. Melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma have also been reported in patients treated with TNF-antagonists including adalimumab (see Adverse Reactions).
In an exploratory clinical trial evaluating the use of another TNF-antagonist, infliximab, in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), more malignancies, mostly in the lung or head and neck, were reported in infliximab-treated patients compared with control patients. All patients had a history of heavy smoking. Therefore, caution should be exercised when using any TNF-antagonist in COPD patients, as well as in patients with increased risk for malignancy due to heavy smoking.
Haematologic reactions: Rare reports of pancytopenia including aplastic anaemia have been reported with TNF-antagonists. Adverse events of the haematologic system, including medically significant cytopenia (e.g. thrombocytopenia, leucopenia) have been reported with adalimumab. All patients should be advised to seek immediate medical attention if they develop signs and symptoms suggestive of blood dyscrasias (e.g. persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, pallor) while on Idacio. Discontinuation of Idacio therapy should be considered in patients with confirmed significant haematologic abnormalities.
Vaccinations: Similar antibody responses to the standard 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine and the influenza trivalent virus vaccination were observed in a study in 226 adult subjects with rheumatoid arthritis who were treated with adalimumab or placebo. No data are available on the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving adalimumab.
It is recommended that paediatric patients, if possible, be brought up to date with all immunisations in agreement with current immunisation guidelines prior to initiating adalimumab therapy.
Patients on adalimumab may receive concurrent vaccinations, except for live vaccines. Administration of live vaccines (e.g., BCG vaccine) to infants exposed to adalimumab in utero is not recommended for 5 months following the mother's last adalimumab injection during pregnancy.
Congestive heart failure: In a clinical trial with another TNF-antagonist worsening congestive heart failure and increased mortality due to congestive heart failure have been observed. Cases of worsening congestive heart failure have also been reported in patients receiving adalimumab. Idacio should be used with caution in patients with mild heart failure (NYHA class I/II). Idacio is contraindicated in moderate to severe heart failure (see Contraindications). Treatment with Idacio must be discontinued in patients who develop new or worsening symptoms of congestive heart failure.
Autoimmune processes: Treatment with Idacio may result in the formation of autoimmune antibodies. The impact of long-term treatment with adalimumab on the development of autoimmune diseases is unknown. If a patient develops symptoms suggestive of a lupus-like syndrome following treatment with Idacio and is positive for antibodies against double-stranded DNA, further treatment with Idacio should not be given (see Adverse Reactions).
Concurrent administration of biologic DMARDs or TNF-antagonists: Serious infections were seen in clinical studies with concurrent use of anakinra and another TNF-antagonist, etanercept, with no added clinical benefit compared to etanercept alone. Because of the nature of the adverse events seen with the combination of etanercept and anakinra therapy, similar toxicities may also result from the combination of anakinra and other TNF-antagonists. Therefore, the combination of adalimumab and anakinra is not recommended. (See Interactions.)
Concomitant administration of adalimumab with other biologic DMARDs (e.g, anakinra and abatacept) or other TNF-antagonists is not recommended based upon the possible increased risk for infections, including serious infections and other potential pharmacological interactions. (See Interactions.)
Surgery: There is limited safety experience of surgical procedures in patients treated with adalimumab. The long half-life of adalimumab should be taken into consideration if a surgical procedure is planned. A patient who requires surgery while on Idacio should be closely monitored for infections, and appropriate actions should be taken. There is limited safety experience in patients undergoing arthroplasty while receiving adalimumab.
Small bowel obstruction: Failure to respond to treatment for Crohn's disease may indicate the presence of fixed fibrotic stricture that may require surgical treatment. Available data suggest that adalimumab does not worsen or cause strictures.
Excipients with known effects: This medicinal product contains less than 1 mmol of sodium (23 mg) per 0.8 ml dose, i.e. essentially 'sodium-free'.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: Idacio may have a minor influence on the ability to drive and use machines. Vertigo and visual impairment may occur following administration of Idacio (see Adverse Reactions).
Use in the Elderly: The frequency of serious infections among adalimumab-treated subjects over 65 years of age (3.7%) was higher than for those under 65 years of age (1.5%). Some of those had a fatal outcome. Particular attention regarding the risk for infection should be paid when treating the elderly.
Use in Children: See Vaccinations as previously mentioned.