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Tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors and mycobacterial infections

Kevin L Winthrop, MD, MPH
Section Editors
C Fordham von Reyn, MD
Kieren A Marr, MD
Deputy Editor
Sheila Bond, MD


Inhibitors of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha represent important treatment advances in a number of inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, the seronegative spondyloarthropathies, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. TNF-alpha inhibitors offer a targeted strategy that contrasts with the nonspecific immunosuppressive agents traditionally used to treat most inflammatory diseases.

However, multiple potential complications and adverse effects of targeted TNF-alpha inhibition have been identified. These include:

Mycobacterial infections including those due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis [TB]) and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM)

Other infections (bacterial, viral, and fungal)

Injection site reactions

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Apr 04, 2017.
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