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Long-term anti-TNF therapy: Efficacy and safety considerations


Nabeel Khan, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Chief, Section of Gastroenterology
Philadelphia VA Medical Center
Philadelphia, PA



Long-term maintenance therapy with anti-TNFs has been associated with improved long-term outcomes. However, patient and healthcare provider concerns may lead to treatment interruption or withdrawal. It is therefore important to ensure that any decision to discontinue therapy (or step-down) is fully informed, and the patient and healthcare provider are aware of the benefits and risks of long-term anti-TNF therapy. This Hot Topic will provide a critical evaluation of some of the things that should be considered regarding the long-term use of anti-TNF therapy.

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of gastroenterologists and registered nurses involved in the care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Release date: February 17, 2016

Learning objectives

After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:

  • Summarize the issues concerning long-term anti-TNF therapy
  • Evaluate when it is appropriate to stop anti-TNF therapy, or to step-down therapy
  • Provide appropriate care and counsel for patients and their families.


Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient's conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer's product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.

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