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Published on 23 April 2008

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New drug to treat Crohn’s approved

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The US drugs watchdog has approved a new drug to help sufferers of Crohn’s disease.

Adults with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease who have not responded to conventional therapies will now be able to try Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), the US Food and Drug Administration said.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease that affects more than 1 million men and women worldwide. It has no cure and its cause is unknown. Crohn’s can cause diarrhoea, fever, rectal bleeding, malnutrition, narrowing of the intestinal tract, obstructions, abscesses, cramping, and abdominal pain.

It can also lead to abnormal connections (fistulas) leading from the intestine to the skin or internal organs.

Julie Beitz, M.D, director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said: “Crohn’s is a debilitating disease that disrupts the quality of life for its sufferers .

“This drug works to reduce the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s, but it also carries risks that will require patients on it to be closely monitored by their physicians or other health care professionals.”

The most common side effects of Cimzia are headache, upper respiratory infections, abdominal pain, injection site reactions and nausea.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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