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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 29, Issue 6, Pages 309-314
Original Article

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients Are Frequently Nonadherent to Scheduled Induction and Maintenance Infliximab Therapy: A Canadian Cohort Study

Christopher Ma, Chad J Evaschesen, Grenvil Gracias, Vivian W Huang, Darryl K Fedorak, Karen I Kroeker, Levinus A Dieleman, Brendan P Halloran, and Richard N Fedorak

Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Received 24 March 2015; Accepted 9 May 2015

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Adherence to maintenance medication regimens in inflammatory bowel disease patients has traditionally been poor. Although infliximab has demonstrated efficacy in inducing and maintaining disease remission, adherence to regularly scheduled infliximab infusions is required to maintain therapeutic trough drug levels and prevent the development of anti-infliximab antibodies.

OBJECTIVES: To characterize patient adherence to regularly scheduled induction and maintenance infliximab infusions.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted evaluating adult outpatients with Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis on an induction or maintenance regimen of regularly scheduled infliximab from 2008 to 2010 at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta). Nonadherence was defined by a discrepancy of >72 h between the scheduled date of infusion and the actual date of administration. Patients were defined as nonadherent if they received <80% of their infliximab infusions per schedule.

RESULTS: A total of 215 patients (173 Crohn disease, 42 ulcerative colitis) met the inclusion criteria. Patients received a median of 12.0 infliximab infusions (interquartile range 7.0 to 13.0) during the study period; 412 induction and 1837 maintenance infliximab infusions were administered. Of 140 patients, 109 (77.9%) were adherent to their infliximab induction regimen, while 68 of 215 (31.6%) were adherent to their infliximab maintenance regimen. One hundred ninety-eight of 215 (92.1%) patients received at least one delayed maintenance infliximab infusion and 20 (10.1%) received maintenance infusions, on average, >1 week late.

CONCLUSIONS: While three-quarters of patients are adherent to infliximab induction therapy, fewer than one-third remained adherent to their scheduled maintenance infliximab regimen.