Humira, Remicade and Cimzia for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis: What to do when they aren’t working well enough?

Biologic medications such as Humira, Remicade and Cimzia were breakthrough treatments when they first came out and were shown to be far more effective than previous treatments, such as steroids (e.g. prednisone) and Imuran (azathioprine). But, even though Humira, Remicade and Cimzia work to put Crohn’s in remission or keep it in remission, they often need additional help.

Here are some options for optimizing Humira, Remicade and Cimzia for Crohn’s disease:

  1. Increase the dose or take them more frequently. For example, the dose of Humira can be increased from 40mg to 80 mg every other week or the frequency can be increased to 40mg every week.
  2. Add a specially formulated nutritional drink such as CROWN so that you don’t need to take more of your biologic treatment. It is available to select patients to evaluate its ability to help heal the intestines of people with Crohn’s disease. It contains essential amino acids that are important for healing tissue and for nutritional needs. To see if you can access CROWN, apply here.

For ulcerative colitis, the dose and frequency of biologics is also used to help patients get into remission and heal the intestines. For Remicade, there is a new add-on investigational drug that is being evaluated to see if the combination of the two can help patients get into remission. The new add-on drug goes by the name PF-06687234. It is taken as a subcutaneous injection weekly.

Biologics such as Humira, Remicade and Cimzia have revolutionized the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Despite their effectiveness, many find these treatments don’t adequately control their symptoms and need to optimize the dose or add on another treatment to achieve remission. It’s important for you to know your options so that you and your doctor can decide on the right treatment for you.

Have you tried any of these? What has been your experience?

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