Consumer Reports shares best buy for treating Crohn's disease
Consumer Reports conducted an independent study that looked at biologic drugs available for Crohn's disease treatment. Based on their analysis, here is what the report says may be your "best buy" for choosing a biologic medication for treating ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease that should be discussed with your doctor.
There are a variety of options for treating Crohn's disease that can leave people diagnosed with the disease confused. Some medications are costly while others have side effects that are intolerable. When talking with your doctor how can you choose the best medication to help treat Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder that can lead to hospitalization and serious complications.
Consumer Reports recently highlighted several medications that are available for Crohn's disease treatment with some important considerations that could help IBD sufferers better understand their options.
Medications used to treat Crohn's disease include biologics that are newer and have a tendency to lead to more side effects than older drugs, cost more money and are not available in generic.
FDA approved biologics that won't cure the disease but might help control symptoms include:
- Certolizumab (Cimzia)
- Natalizumab (Tysabri)
Biologics approved for IBD (ulcerative colitis) by the FDA include:
- Adalimumab (Humira)
- Golimumab (Simponi)
- Infliximab (Remicade)
- Vedolizumab (Entyvio)
It's important to take cost into consideration when discussing a Crohn's disease treatment option with your doctor. You need to know which drugs are covered under your insurance. If you are uninsured explore patient assistance programs for help, such as those that can be found at needymeds.org. The Healthwell Foundation is also a good source for help.
You'll also want to understand what side effects can occur. Biologic drug side effects can be life-threatening for some and include tuberculosis, fungal infections and pneumonia. More commonly the drugs cause minor pain at the injection site and redness. Newer drugs could have unknown side effects because they have not been used for very long, which is also worth considering.
Which IBD medication might be best?
Consumer Reports reviewed all of the biologic medications to come to the conclusion that Humira, used to treat both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis might be safer than newer biologics because it has been used for 12-years.
The drug provides relief of symptoms by two-weeks and can work up to a year. Humira is also lower cost compared to other treatment options.
All biologics can increase your risk of infection because they suppress the immune system to quell inflammation. The good news about the drugs is that they can lower the need for corticosteroids that also suppress immunity, can lead to weight gain, mood changes, fluid retention and more.
Consumer Reports shares they came to the conclusion that Humira is a "best buy" for Crohn's disease treatment through an independent study conducted by a team of physicians and researchers at Johns Hopkins University Evidence-Based Practice Center and determined by whether a drug is FDA approved to treat Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and be as or more effective and safe than other biologics.