Summary of the safety profile:
Adalimumab was studied in 9,506 patients in pivotal controlled and open label trials for up to 60 months or more. These trials included rheumatoid arthritis patients with short term and long-standing disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and enthesitis-related arthritis) as well as axial spondyloarthritis (ankylosing spondylitis and axial spondyloarthritis without radiographic evidence of AS), psoriatic arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa and uveitis patients. The pivotal controlled studies involved 6,089 patients receiving adalimumab and 3,801 patients receiving placebo or active comparator during the controlled period.
The proportion of patients who discontinued treatment due to adverse events during the double-blind, controlled portion of pivotal studies was 5.9% for patients taking adalimumab and 5.4% for control treated patients.
The most commonly reported adverse reactions are infections (such as nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection and sinusitis), injection site reactions (erythema, itching, haemorrhage, pain or swelling), headache and musculoskeletal pain.
Serious adverse reactions have been reported for adalimumab. TNF-antagonists, such as adalimumab affect the immune system and their use may affect the body's defense against infection and cancer.
Fatal and life-threatening infections (including sepsis, opportunistic infections and TB), HBV reactivation and various malignancies (including leukaemia, lymphoma and HSTCL) have also been reported with use of adalimumab.
Serious haematological, neurological and autoimmune reactions have also been reported. These include rare reports of pancytopenia, aplastic anaemia, central and peripheral demyelinating events and reports of lupus, lupus-related conditions and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
In general, the adverse events in paediatric patients were similar in frequency and type to those seen in adult patients.
List of adverse reactions:
The following list of adverse reactions is based on experience from clinical trials and on post-marketing experience and are displayed by system organ class and frequency as follows: very common (≥ 1/10); common (≥ 1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥ 1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥ 1/10,000 to <1/1,000); and not known (cannot be estimated from the available data). Within each frequency grouping, undesirable effects are presented in order of decreasing seriousness. The highest frequency seen among the various indications has been included. An asterisk (*) appears in the SOC column if further information is found elsewhere in Contraindications, Precautions and as follows.
Infections and infestations*:
Very common: Respiratory tract infections (including lower and upper respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, sinusitis, pharyngitis, nasopharyngitis and pneumonia herpes viral).
Common: Systemic infections (including sepsis, candidiasis and influenza), intestinal infections (including gastroenteritis viral), skin and soft tissue infections (including paronychia, cellulitis, impetigo, necrotising fasciitis and herpes zoster), ear infections, oral infections (including herpes simplex, oral herpes and tooth infections), reproductive tract infections (including vulvovaginal mycotic infection), urinary tract infections (including pyelonephritis), fungal infections, joint infections.
Uncommon: Neurological infections (including viral meningitis), opportunistic infections and tuberculosis (including coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis and mycobacterium avium complex infection), bacterial infections, eye infections, diverticulitis1)
Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (including cysts and polyps)*:
Common: Skin cancer excluding melanoma (including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), benign neoplasm.
Uncommon: Lymphoma**, solid organ neoplasm (including breast cancer, lung neoplasm and thyroid neoplasm), melanoma**.
Not known: Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma1)
, Merkel cell carcinoma (neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin)1)
Blood and lymphatic system disorders*:
Very common: Leukopenia (including neutropenia and agranulocytosis), anaemia.
Common: Leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia.
Uncommon: Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.
Immune system disorders*:
Common: Hypersensitivity, allergies (including seasonal allergy).
Metabolism and nutrition disorders:
Very common: Lipids increased.
Common: Hypokalaemia, uric acid increased, blood sodium abnormal, hypocalcaemia, hyperglycaemia, hypophosphatemia, dehydration.
Common: Mood alterations (including depression), anxiety, insomnia.
Nervous system disorders*:
Very common: Headache.
Common: Paraesthesias (including hypoesthesia), migraine, nerve root compression.
Uncommon: Cerebrovascular accident1)
, tremor, neuropathy.
Rare: Multiple sclerosis, demyelinating disorders (e.g. optic neuritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome)1)
Common: Visual impairment, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, eye swelling.
Ear and labyrinth disorders:
Uncommon: Deafness, tinnitus.
Uncommon: Myocardial infarction1)
, arrhythmia, congestive heart failure.
Rare: Cardiac arrest.
Common: Hypertension, flushing, haematoma.
Uncommon: Aortic aneurysm, vascular arterial occlusion, thrombophlebitis.
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders*:
Common: Asthma, dyspnoea, cough.
Uncommon: Pulmonary embolism1)
, interstitial lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonitis, pleural effusion1)
Rare: Pulmonary fibrosis1)
Very common: Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
Common: GI haemorrhage, dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, sicca syndrome.
Uncommon: Pancreatitis, dysphagia, face oedema.
Rare: Intestinal perforation1)
Very common: Elevated liver enzymes.
Uncommon: Cholecystitis and cholelithiasis, hepatic steatosis, bilirubin increased.
Rare: Hepatitis, reactivation of hepatitis B1)
, autoimmune hepatitis1)
Not known: Liver failure1)
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders:
Very common: Rash (including exfoliative rash).
Common: Worsening or new onset of psoriasis (including palmoplantar pustular psoriasis)1)
, urticaria, bruising (including purpura), dermatitis (including eczema), onychoclasis, hyperhidrosis, alopecia1)
Uncommon: Night sweats, scar.
Rare: Erythema multiforme1)
, Stevens-Johnson syndrome1)
, cutaneous vasculitis1)
, lichenoid skin reaction1)
Not known: Worsening of symptoms of dermatomyositis1)
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders:
Very common: Musculoskeletal pain.
Common: Muscle spasms (including blood creatine phosphokinase increased).
Uncommon: Rhabdomyolysis, systemic lupus erythematosus.
Rare: Lupus-like syndrome1)
Renal and urinary disorders:
Common: Renal impairment, haematuria.
Reproductive system and breast disorders:
Uncommon: Erectile dysfunction.
General disorders and administration site conditions*:
Very common: Injection site reaction (including injection site erythema).
Common: Chest pain, oedema, pyrexia1)
Common: Coagulation and bleeding disorders (including activated partial thromboplastin time prolonged), autoantibody test positive (including double stranded DNA antibody), blood lactate dehydrogenase increased.
Injury, poisoning and procedural complications:
Common: Impaired healing.
* further information is found elsewhere in Contraindications, Precautions and in this section.
** including open label extension studies.
including spontaneous reporting data.
The safety profile for patients with HS treated with adalimumab weekly was consistent with the known safety profile of adalimumab.
The safety profile for patients with uveitis treated with adalimumab every other week was consistent with the known safety profile of adalimumab.
Description of selected adverse reactions: Injection site reactions:
In the pivotal controlled trials in adults and children, 12.9% of patients treated with adalimumab developed injection site reactions (erythema and/or itching, haemorrhage, pain or swelling), compared to 7.2% of patients receiving placebo or active control. Injection site reactions generally did not necessitate discontinuation of the medicinal product.
In the pivotal controlled trials in adults and children, the rate of infection was 1.51 per patient year in the adalimumab treated patients and 1.46 per patient year in the placebo and active control-treated patients. The infections consisted primarily of nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, and sinusitis. Most patients continued on adalimumab after the infection resolved.
The incidence of serious infections was 0.04 per patient year in adalimumab treated patients and 0.03 per patient year in placebo and active control - treated patients.
In controlled and open label adult and paediatric studies with adalimumab, serious infections (including fatal infections, which occurred rarely) have been reported, which include reports of tuberculosis (including miliary and extra-pulmonary locations) and invasive opportunistic infections (e.g. disseminated or extrapulmonary histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, pneumocystis, candidiasis, aspergillosis and listeriosis). Most of the cases of tuberculosis occurred within the first eight months after initiation of therapy and may reflect recrudescence of latent disease.
Malignancies and lymphoproliferative disorders:
No malignancies were observed in 249 paediatric patients with an exposure of 655.6 patient years during adalimumab trials in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and enthesitis-related arthritis). In addition, no malignancies were observed in 192 paediatric patients with an exposure of 498.1 patient years during adalimumab trials in paediatric patients with Crohn's disease. No malignancies were observed in 77 paediatric patients with an exposure of 80.0 patient years during an adalimumab trial in paediatric patients with chronic plaque psoriasis. No malignancies were observed in 60 paediatric patients with an exposure of 58.4 patient years during an adalimumab trial in paediatric patients with uveitis.
During the controlled portions of pivotal adalimumab trials in adults of at least 12 weeks in duration in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, axial spondyloarthritis without radiographic evidence of AS, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and uveitis, malignancies, other than lymphoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, were observed at a rate (95% confidence interval) of 6.8 (4.4, 10.5) per 1,000 patient-years among 5,291 adalimumab treated patients versus a rate of 6.3 (3.4, 11.8) per 1,000 patient-years among 3,444 control patients (median duration of treatment was 4.0 months for adalimumab and 3.8 months for control-treated patients). The rate (95% confidence interval) of non-melanoma skin cancers was 8.8 (6.0, 13.0) per 1,000 patient-years among adalimumab-treated patients and 3.2 (1.3, 7.6) per 1,000 patient-years among control patients. Of these skin cancers, squamous cell carcinomas occurred at rates (95% confidence interval) of 2.7 (1.4, 5.4) per 1,000 patient-years among adalimumab-treated patients and 0.6 (0.1, 4.5) per 1,000 patient-years among control patients. The rate (95% confidence interval) of lymphomas was 0.7 (0.2, 2.7) per 1,000 patient-years among adalimumab-treated patients and 0.6 (0.1, 4.5) per 1,000 patient-years among control patients. When combining controlled portions of these trials and ongoing and completed open label extension studies with a median duration of approximately 3.3 years including 6,427 patients and over 26,439 patient-years of therapy, the observed rate of malignancies, other than lymphoma and non-melanoma skin cancers is approximately 8.5 per 1,000 patient years. The observed rate of non-melanoma skin cancers is approximately 9.6 per 1,000 patient years, and the observed rate of lymphomas is approximately 1.3 per 1,000 patient years.
In post-marketing experience from January 2003 to December 2010, predominantly in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the reported rate of malignancies is approximately 2.7 per 1,000 patient treatment years. The reported rates for non-melanoma skin cancers and lymphomas are approximately 0.2 and 0.3 per 1,000 patient treatment years, respectively (see Precautions).
Rare post-marketing cases of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma have been reported in patients treated with adalimumab (see Precautions).
Patients had serum samples tested for autoantibodies at multiple time points in rheumatoid arthritis studies I-V. In these trials, 11.9% of patients treated with adalimumab and 8.1% of placebo and active control - treated patients that had negative baseline anti-nuclear antibody titres reported positive titres at Week 24. Two patients out of 3,441 treated with adalimumab in all rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis studies developed clinical signs suggestive of new-onset lupus-like syndrome. The patients improved following discontinuation of therapy. No patients developed lupus nephritis or central nervous system symptoms.
In controlled Phase 3 trials of adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis with a control period duration ranging from 4 to 104 weeks, ALT elevations ≥ 3 x ULN occurred in 3.7% of adalimumab-treated patients and 1.6% of control-treated patients.
In controlled Phase 3 trials of adalimumab in patients with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis who were 4 to 17 years and enthesitis-related arthritis who were 6 to 17 years, ALT elevations ≥ 3 x ULN occurred in 6.1% of adalimumab-treated patients and 1.3% of control-treated patients. Most ALT elevations occurred with concomitant methotrexate use. No ALT elevations ≥ 3 x ULN occurred in the Phase 3 trial of adalimumab in patients with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis who were 2 to <4 years.
In controlled Phase 3 trials of adalimumab in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis with a control period ranging from 4 to 52 weeks. ALT elevations ≥ 3 x ULN occurred in 0.9% of adalimumab-treated patients and 0.9% of controlled-treated patients.
In the Phase 3 trial of adalimumab in patients with paediatric Crohn's disease which evaluated efficacy and safety of two body weight adjusted maintenance dose regimens following body weight adjusted induction therapy up to 52 weeks of treatment, ALT elevations ≥ 3 x ULN occurred in 2.6% (5/192) of patients of whom 4 were receiving concomitant immunosuppressants at baseline.
In controlled Phase 3 trials of adalimumab in patients with plaque Psoriasis with a control period duration ranging from 12 to 24 weeks, ALT elevations ≥ 3 x ULN occurred in 1.8% of adalimumab - treated patients and 1.8% of control-treated patients.
No ALT elevations ≥ 3 X ULN occurred in the Phase 3 trial of adalimumab in paediatric patients with plaque psoriasis.
In controlled trials of adalimumab (initial doses of 160 mg at Week 0 and 80 mg at Week 2, followed by 40 mg every week starting at Week 4), in patients with, hidradenitis suppurativa with a control period duration ranging from 12 to 16 weeks, ALT elevations ≥ 3 x ULN occurred in 0.3% of adalimumab-treated patients and 0.6% of control-treated patients.
In controlled trials of adalimumab (initial doses of 80 mg at Week 0 followed by 40 mg every other week starting at Week 1) in adult patients with uveitis up to 80 weeks with a median exposure of 166.5 days and 105.0 days in adalimumab-treated and control-treated patients, respectively, ALT elevations ≥ 3 x ULN occurred in 2.4% of adalimumab-treated patients and 2.4% of control-treated patients.
Across all indications in clinical trials patients with raised ALT were asymptomatic and, in most cases, elevations were transient and resolved on continued treatment. However, there have also been post-marketing reports of liver failure as well as less severe liver disorders that may precede liver failure, such as hepatitis including autoimmune hepatitis in patients receiving adalimumab.
Concurrent treatment with azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine:
In adult Crohn's disease studies, higher incidences of malignant and serious infection-related adverse events were seen with the combination of adalimumab and azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine compared with adalimumab alone.