Lymphoma Risk From TNF Blockers in Teens, Says FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to receive reports of a rare cancer of white blood cells (known as Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma or HSTCL), primarily in adolescents and young adults being treated for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with medicines known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, as well as with azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis cause inflammation of the digestive system. Common symptoms are pain in the abdomen, cramps, and diarrhea. Bleeding from the rectum, weight loss, joint pain, skin problems and fever also may occur. Children with the disease may have growth problems, develop intestinal blockage, and experience malnutrition. [Read more…]

FDA Approved Humira for Chron’s Disease

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Humira (adalimumab) to treat adult patients with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines, which affects an estimated one million Americans.

Humira is a human-derived, genetically-engineered monoclonal antibody (a protein that can be produced in large quantities in a manufacturing plant). The product acts to reduce excessive levels of human tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, which plays an important role in abnormal inflammatory and immune responses.

The labeling includes a boxed warning about potential serious adverse events.

Source: FDA