Adalimumab may reduce inflammation and pain and improve quality of life for patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). HS is a chronic skin disease that occurs deep in the skin around oil glands and hair follicles causing red, tender bumps that often enlarge, break open and drain foul-smelling pus. HS is associated with pain and scarring, and often is resistant to treatment.

Researchers conducted a phase 2, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of adalimumab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor-α antibody, in 154 patients with moderate to severe HS. Patients were assigned adalimumab, 40 mg/wk; adalimumab, 40 mg every other week (EOW); or placebo for 16 weeks.

From weeks 17 to 52, all patients received adalimumab, 40 mg EOW, but were switched to weekly dosing if the response was suboptimum at weeks 28 or 31. At week 16, a significantly greater proportion of patients in the weekly treatment group achieved improvements in pain, inflammation, and quality of life based on a clinical scoring system.

Adalimumab appeared to be well-tolerated at weekly and EOW doses, but this small study does not provide definitive safety data.