Infliximab (IFX), a monoclonal antibody directed against tumor necrosis factor alpha is a potent treatment option for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Dosing regimens in children are extrapolated from adult data using a fixed, weight-based dose, which is often not adequate. While clinical trials have focused on safety and efficacy, there is limited data on pharmacokinetic characteristics and immunogenicity of IFX in children. The objective was to provide a systematic overview of current literature on pharmacokinetic and immunogenicity of IFX in children with IBD, to assess the validity of current adult to pediatric dosing extrapolation.
A literature search identified publications up to October 2018. Eligibility criteria were study population consisting of children and/or adolescents with IBD, report of IFX trough levels and/or antibodies-to IFX, full text article or abstract, article in English, and original data.
Initial electronic search yielded 2360 potentially relevant articles, with 1831 remaining after removal of duplicates. An additional search yielded another 202 potentially relevant articles. Of the 2033 retrieved articles, 2000 articles were excluded based on title, abstract, or eligibility criteria. Clearance of IFX was increased in young children and children with extensive disease, leading to lower trough levels after extrapolated dosing of 5 mg/kg, antibodies-to IFX emergence, and subsequent reduced efficacy.
Adult to pediatric weight–based dosing extrapolation is often inadequate. We provide several considerations for optimal dosing of IFX in children and adolescents with IBD.