Intravenous (IV) therapy is an effective type of therapy used to treat many different conditions, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Depending on the severity of their condition, patients may choose between IV therapy and oral medication, or their physician may prescribe IV therapy when oral medication has failed to relieve their symptoms. Today, we’re looking at the benefits of IV therapy for Crohn’s and UC and some of the most common drugs ContinuumRx uses to treat our patients from the comfort of home or one of our infusion suites.
Benefits of IV Therapy
IV therapy is when a patient receives medication through a vein. While oral medications may be equally effective in some cases, a patient may opt for IV therapy out of convenience. For instance, a patient taking oral medication for their Crohn’s or UC may have to take multiple doses every day. In contrast, patients with the same condition receiving IV therapy can spread their infusions over weeks, sometimes months. When it comes to IV therapy versus oral medication, many factors go into the decision and ultimately will come down to what the physician and patient believe is the best course of treatment.
IV Therapy for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
There are many different infusion drugs our team at ContinuumRx uses to treat Crohn’s and UC, each with its own benefits. However, some are more common than others. Let’s look at the top drugs used to treat Crohn’s and UC and the benefits of each.
• Stelara (Ustekinumab)
Stelara is used to treat both Crohn’s and UC; however, it can also treat other inflammatory conditions such as plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Infusion therapy with Stelara consists of a one-time initial infusion and then infusions every eight weeks after lasting at least an hour in duration. Stelara works by targeting interleukin 12 and interleukin 23, which are cytokines in the body thought to be associated with gastrointestinal inflammation.
• Remicade (Infliximab)
Remicade is another drug that treats Crohn’s, UC, various arthritis conditions, and chronic plaque psoriasis. Typically, Remicade treatment is given every eight weeks, with the infusion duration lasting about two hours; however, the frequency of treatment may vary depending on a patient’s individual case. Remicade works by attacking the tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein believed to cause inflammation in Crohn’s disease.
• Entyvio (Vedolizumab)
Entyvio is a treatment that specifically treats Crohn’s disease and UC by blocking inflammatory factors and motivating anti-inflammatory gut health, thus relieving symptoms. Entyvio is an IgG1 monoclonal antibody meaning it is a clone of a unique white blood cell that allows it to bind to specific molecules within the body to block those inflammatory factors. Patients receiving Entyvio will require infusion therapy every eight weeks, lasting about thirty minutes per session.
• Tysabri (Natalizumab)
Tysabri is a medication that treats multiple sclerosis (MS), but it has been proven effective in treating Crohn’s disease as well. Typically, Tysabri is prescribed to Crohn’s patients whose bodies have stopped responding to anti-TNF medications. Similar to Entyvio, Tysabri is an antibody that binds to white blood cells preventing them from causing inflammation. Tysabri is given every four weeks with infusions lasting roughly an hour.
• Simponi ARIA (Golimumab)
Simponi ARIA is a biologic medication used to treat UC. It works by targeting, binding with, and blocking excess tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which causes UC inflammation. Patients receiving Simponi ARIA will start treatment with two thirty-minute infusions four weeks apart. Following these initial infusions, patients will then receive infusions every eight weeks.
No matter the IV therapy you and your physician decide on, one thing is for sure; if you’re still traveling to and from the hospital then the time and cost of travel could be adding up. ContinuumRx will travel to you and administer your IV therapy, granting you more flexibility in your treatment schedule and saving you money. Patients can also receive treatment in our comfortable, affordable, and conveniently located infusion suites. Interested in learning more about the infusion treatments we offer? Contact us today!