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Improved Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects an estimated 500,000 people in the United States each year.  Symptoms include pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.  Severe symptoms can significantly affect quality of life.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for Crohn’s Disease at this time, although symptoms may be managed with medication.  In severe cases, surgery is used to remove part of the intestines.  While researchers continue to work on a cure, they are excited to announce that infliximab (Remicade®)  appears useful for treating moderate to severe Crohn’s disease.

People with Crohn’s disease are typically treated with a stepwise progression of medications:  first steroids, then azathioprine, and finally infliximab.  Investigators at the Mayo Clinic state that infliximab should be used alone or with azathioprine to treat moderate to severe Crohn’s disease.  Infliximab was found to be safe and effective.  This exciting new advancement in medicine is expected to improve the quality of life for many people with Crohn’s disease.

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