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Adalimumab: A fully human monoclonal anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha antibody (PDF)

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Adalimumab is the newest addition to a class of medications called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) inhibitors. Adalimumab (Humira, Abbott) is the first fully human monoclonal antibody approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, distinguishing it from the other TNF inhibitors. FDA approval was received in December 2002, which was earlier than expected, based on clinical trial results that demonstrated a slowed progression of joint damage in addition to an improved quality of life in adalimumab-treated RA patients. Adalimumab has been found to be effective when used alone or in combination with methotrexate and/or other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Existing TNF inhibitors for RA are associated with inconvenient or complicated dosing schedules. Adalimumab offers patients the convenience of an infrequent dosing schedule. In the absence of clinical trials directly comparing adalimumab with other biologic therapies, choice will largely depend on patient factors. Pricing information places adalimumab in line with its competitors.

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