Remicade (infliximab) for ulcerative colitis

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for GI disorders since I suffer from one myself. They suck. So when I read this the other day I was a bit surprised.

“For people with active ulcerative colitis who do not respond to corticosteroids or immunosuppressive agents, infliximab is effective in inducing clinical remission, inducing clinical response, promoting mucosal healing and reducing the need for colectomy, at least in the short term,” said review co-author Dr. Anthony Kwaku Akobeng.

[…]

“Infliximab is another option if steroids fail,” said Peter Higgins, M.D., an assistant professor in gastroenterology at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

And here I was, thinking this was common knowledge. In fact I during my hospitalization a few weeks ago whilst on vacation I had a discussion about UC with the tech doing my CT scan. She was telling me one of her friends had severe UC, and that he was on steroids. I distinctly remember suggesting Remicade or Humira instead of prednisone through my drug-induced stupor. She was telling me he hated the side effects. What a surprise. Then I think I started rambling about monoclonals and the lack of a generic approval pathway for biologics in general. She stopped talking to me after that.

She was cute, too. Really cute.

But hey, more studies are always good. Too bad Remicade is WAY more expensive than prednisone…

[tags]Medicine, pharmacy, Remicade, infliximab, ulcerative colitis[/tags]

8 thoughts on “Remicade (infliximab) for ulcerative colitis

  1. After I posted this I did a little digging just to be sure I wasn’t losing my mind. I was too lazy to update the article to reflect that. :o

    Thanks for the link. :)

  2. My son was diagnosed with UC in Jan. 2005, he failed all conventional therapies and by July 2006 he was again hospitalized with severe disease. He was malnourished and required TPN,he also required 4 unit of blood, within a month of this hospitalization he had developed bilateral DVT (most likely from the severe degree of inflammation, coupled with a two week hospital stay. His meds included Asacol, Imuran, and throughout two weeks of hospitalization, he failed to respond to high dose i.v.steroids. His doctor recommended he try Remicade, as he was otherwise facing total colectomy (20 years old. Initially he was slow to respond, and we were skeptical, however we continued treatment every 8 weeks and within six months he was in remission, and has remains in remission to date. We have discontinued use of Remicade (to avoid potential long term risks) and are hopeful that he will be able to maintain remission on maintenance meds such as Asacol and Imuran.

  3. I have been on Remicade for 4 years now b/c of ulcerative colitis. I too, did not respond well to Asacol,Colazol,immuran, and even prednisone. It wasn’t uncommon for my hgb to be around 6 or 7. I started out on 400mg every 8wks, but eventually it’s effectiveness seemed to wear a little b/c now i’m on it q 5wks and sometimes get a flare inbetween treatments. I have no complaints, though. My life has changed drastically in this short time, and i’m very thankful. The problem is that recently i saw a specialist in boston and he seems to think that this is not a good long-term option, and so we are going to start all over on the drugs that didn’t work for me. Putting all potential side effects aside, i am a huge supporter of Remicade…i don’t know how much worse it can be for you than taking 15 pills a day.

  4. Who are you seeing in Boston, Lauren, if I may ask? (I spent some time in the hospital there for my Crohns…)

    FWIW, the 6MPs and 5ASA drugs can work once a flare-up has been quashed. They’re probably better in the long-term than your anti-TNF drugs (like Remicade). You may need to do the Remicade (or Humira) if you experience another flare-up. The worry is that they’ll stop working for you if you take them continuously.

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