Infliximab (Remicade®) is a medication for severe Crohn’s disease. It is used to treat Crohn’s disease in patients who have not been helped by other medicines and also in patients who have a type of Crohn’s disease in which fistulas form.
Infliximab (Remicade®) is an immunosuppressive medication, which means that it reduces the activity in the body’s immune system. Infliximab is given as a shot in a vein (intravenous, or IV). Infliximab is given two weeks after the first infusion, a further infusion is given fours weeks after the second. It is then given once every eight weeks It is available with a prescription under the brand name Remicade. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available.
Infliximab targets a substance in the body known as TNF alpha the short form for tumour necrosis factor. TNF alpha causes inflammation and Infliximad helps to stop it. Infliximab is indicated for the treatment of severe active Crohn’s disease or fistulising Crohn?s. Infliximab is not the treatment of first choice for rheumatoid arthritis; it is tried when all else seems to be failing..
So What is TNF and how does Inliximab stop TNF?
TNF is a cell protein that acts as a “chemical messenger” causing inflammation and tissue damage. Its involved in various inflammatory conditions of which crohn’s diseases is one of them. It is also found in the inflamed joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis. TNF alpha is involved in producing inflammation. It controls the activity of other inflammatory chemicals. As a protein it attaches to the joint surface and causes inflammation and joint damage. Infliximab blocks the action of TNF and helps reduce the symptoms and slow and reduce the symptoms in Crohn’s disease.
Infliximab of itself is a protein originally produced in mice. When a protein from an animal (or from another person or the environment) enters a person’s body, the body’s immune system will generally recognize this protein as being foreign and an allergic reaction may result.
Infliximab is considered a “biologic” medication, which means that it is under different rules and laws than most other medications. As a result, generic infliximab is not available and cannot be produced until these laws and rules are changed.
Women of child-bearing age must use contraception while on infliximab. Do not take infliximab if you are thinking of becoming pregnant in the near future or if you are not using contraception. Women of childbearing age must use contraception while on Infliximab. Do not take Infliximab if you are thinking of becoming pregnant in the near future or if you are not using contraception.
Infliximab is not a cure for Crohn’s disease. Infliximab is administered through intravenous infusion. The infusion takes 2-3 hours yet the effects can last for weeks, and improvements in psoriasis can be seen for months with regular infusions.
HUMIRA: Crohn’s Disease Medication
Humira is anther medication for crohn’s disease. Humira is the brand name for the drug Adalimumab. It functions just like infliximab by preventing TNF alpha from causing inflammation. – in this way it is related to infliximab. It is known for reducing signs and symptoms,as well as maintaining clinical remission in adult patients who have moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease and people who have had inadequate response to conventional therapies.
Humira is also given to patients if they have lost response or are intolerant to infliximab. HUMIRA is administered as a single subcutaneous injection every other week. It is the first self-administered biologic for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Humira is different than other medicines in that it is given to a patient via an injection (shot) in your stomach or thigh and is not swallowed. This can initially be done in your doctor’s office, and then you or your carer will learn how to give the shots at home.
The drug product is supplied as either a single-use, prefilled pen (HUMIRA Pen) or as a single-dose, 1 mL prefilled glass syringe.In one study, up to 58 percent of those taking Humira showed significant improvement in their Crohn’s disease symptoms, compared to just 34 percent of those not taking Humira.
Side Effects Of Infliximab and Humira
As with all medications, there are always side effects. In this case both drugs are working on the immune system to reduce the effects of inflammation. In so doing some patients have been exposed to infections due to a weakened immune system. Patients with infections of any kind are advised not to take any of these medications even skin infections. Some patients using infliximab have been exposed to the infection of TB.
Patients who have taken both medication for many years are prone to have liver problem. The liver damage can be so severe that it sometimes require a long term medical treatment and/ or liver transplant. A lady once had a liver problem as a result the drug therapy. The good news is that it extended her life another 25 years and sadly the same drugs took their toll on her liver. The fact that she got to raise her daughter in those 25 years was a blessing to her and all who knew her.
TNF-blocking agents, including HUMIRA, have been associated with reactivation of hepatitis B (HBV) in patients who are chronic carriers of this virus. Therefore before taking humira, it is patients should be evaluated and monitored prior to and during treatment. Some cases have been fatal. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, especially more serious ones may have a higher chance for getting a kind of cancer called lymphoma. Also some patients receiving HUMIRA have developed types of cancer called non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer of the skin), which are generally not life threatening if treated.
Patients taking higher doses of Humira appear to have a higher risk of side effects, the most serious side effects include infections and the development of lymphoma.
Aloe Vera Supplements
When compared to Humira and Infliximad, aloe vera has not side effects whatsoever on the body. Since its nature own medication, without chemicals, more and more people are taking aloe vera supplements to help manage their crohn’s disease. If you are already taking any of the above medication or any anti inflammatory medication,it is advisable that you consult your doctor before taking any aloevera supplement.
In a recent study done on the effect of aloe vera on people with Crohn’s disease.
54 patients participated. Half of them took aloe vera and the other half took a placebo. 81% of patients that took aloe vera had good reaction after 8 weeks of treatment. The other half that took a placebo only recorded 4% with similar reaction. 50% of the 63% of patients treated with aloe vera said they had huge improvements on the areas they where effected, while only 7% of the other group recorded similar experience. The Burning pains in 33% of aloe vera patients where gone as compared to 4% of the placebo patients.
More and more doctors are now recommending aloe vera to their patients with Crohn’s disease as it helps them manage this illness better. Its natural and cheaper. Aloeride is among the well known and proven aloe vera supplements. With 100% aloe vera.
In summary, infliximad and humira are both well known medications for managing Crohn’s disease. Both are immunosuppressives, suppressing your immune system so as to reduce inflammatory sysmptoms. Though they do work, however each comes with some side effects. Taking aloe vera supplements can help you improve crohn’s disease without any side effects. They are natures medication and are cheaper.
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