Therapeutic drug monitoring of vedolizumab in inflammatory bowel disease: current data and future directions

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The introduction of vedolizumab, a lymphocyte adhesion inhibitor, has expanded the relatively limited therapeutic armamentarium available for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Despite its effectiveness, both primary nonresponse and secondary loss of response to vedolizumab do occur, as is observed with the use of anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy. Further, in a proportion, onset of efficacy may be relatively slow. A large body of data support an exposure–response relationship with anti-TNF drug levels, which has led to therapeutic drug monitoring becoming incorporated into everyday clinical management. The influence of patient and disease factors on the pharmacokinetics of anti-TNF levels, including immunogenicity, has also been examined. The role of therapeutic drug monitoring with vedolizumab is less clear. This review summarizes the available evidence on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of vedolizumab in inflammatory bowel disease and how drug levels, immunogenicity and other factors influence clinical outcomes. Vedolizumab clearance is increased with very high body weight and hypoalbuminaemia, but is not influenced by the addition of an immunomodulator. Immunogenicity is uncommon. α4β7 receptor saturation occurs at low serum vedolizumab drug levels, and measuring it alone is insufficient to predict clinical outcomes. Using quartile analysis of vedolizumab drug levels, there appears to be a modest exposure–response relationship during induction. Drug levels at week 6 of approximately >20 μg/ml have been shown to be associated with improved clinical outcomes, including subsequent mucosal healing rates during maintenance and avoiding the need to dose escalate due to lack of response. There are currently insufficient data to support the routine use of therapeutic drug monitoring during maintenance therapy. Further studies to elucidate the role of therapeutic drug monitoring of vedolizumab are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1756284818772786
Number of pages10
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • anti-drug antibodies
  • Crohn’s disease
  • drug levels
  • therapeutic drug monitoring
  • ulcerative colitis
  • Vedolizumab

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