While tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα) inhibitors have been shown to increase risk of serious infection in adult treated for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the association between their use and risk of serious infection in children with IBD remains inconclusive. A recent cohort study in Denmark has investigated this by examining 2,817 paediatric patients (53.9% male, mean age: 15.1 [SD: 1.7] years) with IBD between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2016. 69.9% of patients had Crohn’s disease and 30.1% had ulcerative colitis or IBD-unclassified. 618 episodes of TNFα inhibitor use and 2,925 episodes of treatment without TNFα inhibitors were identified across all patients in the study, with serious infection being described as an infection which required a hospital stay. For TNFα inhibitor use and no-use, the weighted incidences of serious infection were 54.6 per 1,000 patient-years and 61.9 per 1,000 patient-years, respectively. The study, which can be viewed here, found no significant association between TNFα inhibitor use and risk of serious infection in children with IBD and suggests this data could be integrated into paediatric clinical practice.

Contributed by Australian Medication Safety Services Associate – Isabella Singh