Ulcerative Colitis Injection Treatment

ulcerative colitis injection treatment

The purpose of any treatment for IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), which is an umbrella term for two common diseases known as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, entails preventing recurrences and controlling the symptoms. There are now new medicines classified as biologics that are used for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and more inflammatory conditions. Typically, biologics are taken via intravenous injections. This ulcerative colitis injection treatment involves real biological sources.

Ulcerative Colitis Injection Treatment

Biologics contain antibodies cultivated in a lab. These antibodies work by inhibiting the action of various proteins linked to inflammation. Biologic drugs provide a new approach to the treatment of IBD as they directly target the functions that bring on the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.

Unlike corticosteroids which impact the entire body indiscriminately, biologics only address the problematic actions in the body. These drugs aim to strike specific proteins associated with the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases. 

Types of Ulcerative Colitis Injection Treatment Drugs

Anti-TNF Drugs

Biologics classified as anti-TNF (anti-tumor necrosis factor) medications stick to and inhibit a tiny protein known as TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha). This protein incites inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract along with other tissues that inflame. Anti-TNF agents effectively ease IBD symptoms by reducing intestinal inflammation. Even though anti-TNF medications do not work for all patients, a good number of them see considerable improvement in their condition while on this drug. In most cases, these medications take around 2 months to take effect. However, some patients experience an improvement in the severity of their symptoms much faster. The most commonly prescribed anti-TNF drugs are adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), golimumab (Simponi), infliximab (Remicade), and also infliximab-dyyb (Inflectra).   

Integrin Receptor Agents

This class of biologics blocks the cells that incite inflammation from travelling out of blood vessels and penetrating tissues by hindering the action of a protein found on the outer layer of the cells. The main integrin receptor antagonists are natalizumab (Tysabri) and vedolizumab (Entyvio).

Risks and Side Effects of Ulcerative Colitis Injection Treatment Drugs

Biologics offer more benefits than the risks they pose when used for the treatment of IBD. However, here are some side effects to be aware of:

When administered intravenously, the injection sites may become red, itchy, swollen, and painful. Besides the injection site reactions, these biologics may also cause a fever accompanied by chills, headaches, and rash-like reactions. In some cases, biologics may also bring on intense allergic reactions.

While rare, the use of biologics has also been associated with various nervous system diseases. If you ever notice symptoms such as lightheadedness, vision issues, or numbing/tingling sensations while taking anti-TNF agents, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ Tharakorn

Posted on May 22, 2023