‘Breakthrough’ Arthritis Drug Eliminate Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms in Patients

A new study finds that people with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis who haven’t done well on other treatments may find relief and eliminate Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms with Xeljanz (tofacitinib), a drug currently used for arthritis treatment. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. It affects about 700,000 Americans, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF).The illness causes inflammation, irritation, swelling and sores on the lining of the large intestine.

Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms include diarrhea with blood or pus and abdominal discomfort, according to CCF.”There is still a substantial unmet need for new treatments for patients with ulcerative colitis,” said study lead author Dr. William Sandborn. He is professor of medicine and chief of the division of gastroenterology at the University of California, San Diego.This arthritis drug which eliminate Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms targets certain proteins involved in the body’s inflammatory and immune responses that other so-called biologic drugs don’t, the researchers said.

“Treatment with oral tofacitinib is potentially a new treatment option for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, pending review by the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration],” Sandborn said.The study was funded by Pfizer, Inc., the maker of arthritis treatment drug. Sandborn said he has received research grants from the company and served as a consultant for Pfizer.Whether arthritis treatment drug that eliminate Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms should be used as a first treatment is still not clear, said Dr. Arun Swaminath, director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Because arthritis treatment drug comes as a pill, it could have an advantage for patients and eliminate Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms , Swaminath said. But so far it has only been tried with patients who have not responded to other treatments, he said.”How it is used in the real world may be different than how it was used in these studies,” Swaminath said. “I am not going out on a limb and say this should be the first choice, because we don’t have enough data to say that’s the way it should be positioned.

“The researchers randomly assigned more than 1,700 people with ulcerative colitis to one of three phase 3 trials.The first two trials looked at more than 1,100 patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis who had failed with conventional treatment or treatment with newer “tumor necrosis factor antagonist” drugs, such as Remicade (infliximab). They received Xeljanz or a placebo twice a day for eight weeks.

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