A practical guide to therapeutic drug monitoring of biologic medications for inflammatory bowel disease

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Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is a useful strategy to optimize biologic medications for inflammatory bowel disease not responsive to standard dosing regimens. TDM is cost effective for anti-tumor necrosis factor agents in the setting of loss of response (reactive TDM). Optimizing drug dosing when patients are in remission (proactive TDM) may be beneficial in certain circumstances. However, frequently the serum drug concentration in isolation becomes the focus TDM. Addition-ally, the lines of reactive and proactive TDM can quickly blur in many common clinical settings. Physicians employing a TDM based strategy need to place the drug concentration in context with the inflammatory status of the patient, the underlying pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the drug, the risk of immunogenicity, and the therapeutic goals for the patient. Physicians should understand the limits of TDM and feel comfortable making therapeutic decisions with imperfect information. The goal of this narrative review is to provide a framework of questions that physicians can use to employ TDM effectively in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4990
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflicts of Interest: Vaughn has received consulting fees from Prometheus Laboratories and grant support from Genentech, Takeda, Celgene, and Diasorin. The funders had no role in the writing of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Adalimumab
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Infliximab
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Ustekinumab
  • Vedolizumab


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