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Aggressive, Prompt Treatment Can Help with Crohn’s Disease

— March 20, 2024

Infliximab shows promising results for Crohn’s symptoms.

Crohn’s disease can have a powerfully disruptive impact on an individual’s life. The ongoing symptoms of diarrhea, cramping, fatigue, and abdominal pain can make it hard to enjoy the basics things in life, and often leave patients lingering close to a bathroom so they aren’t caught in a situation where they don’t have any good options available. Not only does Crohn’s have a frustrating impact on the lifestyle of those who suffer from it, but it’s also notoriously mysterious and hard to treat. Conventional therapies for Crohn’s don’t tend to get great results, and often their symptoms don’t improve at all when treated. So, anything that signals the potential for better results, and prompt treatment, is going to be an exciting development, and that’s what is seen in a new study performed in the United Kingdom.

A new clinical trial with the drug infliximab has offering promising results for people who have recently been diagnosed with Crohn’s. Infliximab is an immune-suppressing drug that can be administered either through an injection or by IV drip. This study was completed across a total of 40 hospitals in the UK, and nearly 400 people participated.

When patients were given the drug quickly after getting their diagnosis, 80% were able to enjoy some degree of symptom improvement, including reduced inflammatory markers. That’s an outstanding percentage that stands in stark contrast to the 15% effectiveness of conventional therapies for Crohn’s.

Aggressive, Prompt Treatment Can Help with Crohn’s Disease
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

The results of this study are particularly surprising because they don’t go along with the standard way Crohn’s is approached today. Generally speaking, advanced therapy is saved for later, with lesser interventions taken at the start. Unfortunately, that means many patients wind up having their condition advance and demand more aggressive treatment later on – which may or may not be effective at that point.

In this study, the patients were administered the drug in two different ways – through a gradual dosage increase program, and through a top-down technique where more aggressive treatment was provided right from the start. When the top-down approach was used, it was ten times less likely that those patients would wind up requiring emergency abdominal surgery, and there were less cases of intestinal ulcers. The findings of this study are sure to be examined more closely, but it offers a promising outlook that might be able to prevent Crohn’s from advancing to a point where it has a serious, damaging impact on daily life.

Given the number of people that it harms around the world, it seems like Crohn’s goes a little bit under the radar in terms of how difficult it can be to live with. People who have Crohn’s deeply understand the struggle that it presents, while the general public might not understand how challenging the condition is for long-time patients. With any luck, the results of this study will continue to bear out in further testing and Crohn’s patients may soon have an option that can help them get life back on track as soon as possible.


Treating Crohn’s Sooner, More Aggressively Greatly Improves Outcomes: Study

A biomarker-stratified comparison of top-down versus accelerated step-up treatment strategies for patients with newly diagnosed Crohn’s disease (PROFILE): a multicentre, open-label randomised controlled trial

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