PDF of Ask A Pharmacist 0612

Do all tumor necrosis factor (TNF) medications for rheumatoid arthritis require 1.2 micron filter tubing? —Dorcas Lavender, RN


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There are currently five anti-TNF medications approved for use in the United States. Etanercept (Enbrel) is a recombinant protein that binds TNF and prevents it from activating cell receptors. The other products are monoclonal antibodies that bind to TNF-alpha, and include adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), golimumab (Simponi), and infliximab (Remicade). Some products are administered subcutaneously, and include etanercept, golimumab, adalimumab and certolizumab pegol. Infliximab is administered intravenously over at least 2 hours, and should be administered using an in-line 1.2 micron or smaller filter. As with any product, the prescribing information (package insert) has the most current information on product administration and should be consulted when making any decisions regarding drug administration. ONA


Lisa Thompson is assistant professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Aurora, Colorado.