IBD, or inflammatory bowel disease, is a group of conditions that cause the immune system to attack the lining of the digestive tract. This results in chronic inflammation and ulceration of the small or large intestine. Both Types 1 and 2 of IBD are serious diseases with no known cure.
Current treatment involves modifying diet and lifestyle, as well as taking drugs that suppress immune response and managing flare-ups when they occur. Fortunately, new treatments for IBD are being developed. One such drug is called Entyvio ( VEDC >
What is Entyvio?
Entyvio, or VEDC, is an injectable drug used to treat patients with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. It is an immunotherapy drug, meaning that it works by triggering the body’s natural immune response. More specifically, it is designed to neutralize TNF-alpha, a protein that causes inflammation in IBD patients.
How does Entyvio Work?
Entyvio works by triggering a patient’s immune system to produce antibodies against TNF-alpha, the protein that causes inflammation in IBD. Once neutralized, TNF-alpha can no longer cause damage to the patient’s digestive tract, and the symptoms of IBD should subside.
Who Should Take Entyvio?
The FDA recommends Entyvio for patients with moderate to severe IBD whose symptoms aren’t controlled by standard treatment. Conditions are considered severe when they cause frequent flare-ups, significant pain, and/or pose a risk of serious complications. If you’re experiencing two or more of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for
Entyvio: – Abdominal pain or cramping – Bloody stools or diarrhea – Weight loss – Low energy or fatigue
Most patients experience mild side effects during the first six weeks of treatment. The most common include injection site reactions, headaches, abdominal or joint pain, and/or upper respiratory infections. While these symptoms are relatively easy to manage, long-term use of Entyvio may result in serious side effects. These are more common in patients taking treatment for over 12 weeks, and include increased risk of infection, skin reactions, and liver damage.
Does Entyvio Have any Long Term Effects?
As with most anti-inflammatory drugs, long-term use of Entyvio may increase the risk of developing certain cancers, including colorectal, lung, and bladder cancers. In addition, patients with a history of melanoma or other types of skin cancer are advised to not take Entyvio, as it may increase their risk of developing skin cancer.
Final Thoughts: Entyvio: A New Treatment for IBD Patients
Entyvio is an exciting new treatment option for IBD patients. While it isn’t a cure, it greatly reduces the symptoms of both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and doesn’t pose the risk of infection or organ damage associated with many other drugs. Patients should discuss Entyvio with their doctor and carefully consider the potential benefits and risks before deciding whether or not to take it.