Three New Treatments Bring Good News for People With Crohn's
There have been several recent advances in how physicians treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These treatment options have primarily focused on developing biological agents (e.g., antisense oligonucleotides, monoclonal antibodies, and recombinant peptides, or proteins) that target the neutralization of specific pro-inflammatory proteins. Monoclonal antibodies that target the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) have been found to be especially effective in the treatment of Crohn's disease. The anti-TNF agents range from the human IgG1 anti-TNF-alpha monoclonal antibody, adalimumab, to the chimeric monoclonal antibody, infliximab.
The anti-TNF agents have been found to be so effective that they actually reset the acceptable level of response to treatment in Crohn's disease.
There have been a lot of changes and advances in the field of healthcare and how IBD is treated. The treatment options are known to focus mostly on the development of biological agents such as monoclonal antibodies, antisense oligonucleotides, and recombinant peptides, or proteins. The anti-TNF agents are seen as an effective method that can actually reset the acceptable level of response to the treatment of Crohn’s disease.
- Anti-TNF drugs: When the body produces excess TNF-alpha, it becomes difficult to manage inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s. In such cases, the anti-TNF medications are known to work by binding the tumor necrosis factor alpha to their blood cells as well as the cell membranes, which are known to block it in an effective manner. The anti-TNF medications have already been used to treat RA for the past few years.
- Infliximab: This medication has been known to be very effective in treating the inflammation associated with IBD. But this medicine is not considered safe for everyone since it can lead to certain complications in the case of pregnancy and in people who have a medical history of tuberculosis, nervous system issues, or heart disorders. The side effects include difficulty breathing, pain in the chest, nausea, rashes on the skin, hives, dip in blood pressure, and headache.
Of late, there have been three new biological treatments approved for IBD, and they include certolizumab pegol, adalimumab, and Natalizumab. These treatment options have opened doors for new therapies, which include early intervention in the disease as well as the top-down approach. There were two separate studies conducted in the year 2008 to investigate how safe infliximab is for treating Crohn’s disease.
The first study was conducted for analyzing ENCORE registry. After the study, the researchers observed a slight increase in the overall incidence of adverse effects experienced by the patients who were treated with infliximab, and the reason for these as well as an increased occurrence of infections was due to the individual being extremely sick with Crohn’s disease when the treatments were begun, and so they were also taking steroids as well as immunosuppressants. The second research study was conducted with a desire to examine the safest way to use infliximab while treating Crohn’s patients. Combination treatments that included a mix of steroids and infliximab were known to result in a high risk of infection, and the combination of infliximab with immunosuppressants was linked with a doubled risk of infection. However, there was no risk of infection for those who only took infliximab for treatment.
The main factors that must be considered before deciding on the anti-TNF therapy for treating Crohn’s should always be the safety of the method as well as the efficacy. The four main medicines currently used to treat Crohn’s — adalimumab, certolizumab, Natalizumab, and infliximab — seem to show the same ratings on a similar scale. So, the patient’s doctor should judge each issue before finalizing the medicine to be used.