ANCHOR LEAD: PEOPLE JUST DIAGNOSED WITH CROHN’S DISEASE MAY WANT TO USE BIOLOGIC THERAPIES FIRST, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Treatment for newly diagnosed Crohn’s disease is typically stepwise. More mild medications are tried first, then others are added if the condition doesn’t improve. But now a recent study concludes that the condition improves and remains better if antibody-based medications known as biologics are started first. Patrick Okolo, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins, comments.
OKOLO: I think this is a paradigm that we might have gotten from the rheumatologists in that traditionally in patients with inflammatory bowel disease we’ve always started with the simpler agents and added additional agents if people did not improve. What this paper that was published in the Lancet shows is that perhaps this is not the correct paradigm, and that we should actually start with what people might loosely describe as the big guns, probably start with biologic therapy. :24
These biologic therapies are typically quite expensive and may require injection or IV infusion, but may offer the best chance to keep Crohn’s in check. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.