Skip to content

    Inflammatory Bowel Disease Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Which Biologics Are Used to Treat Crohn's Disease?

    Biologics are prescription drugs made from living organisms. Your doctor may prescribe one to you if other treatments haven’t worked.

    Biologics work on your immune system. They target specific proteins in your body that cause inflammation.

    Recommended Related to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    After a diagnosis with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you'll have plenty of questions. You may not remember them all, so WebMD has prepared 10 questions for you to print out and take to your next doctor appointment. 1. Could any condition other than IBD be causing my symptoms? 2. Do I have ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease? 3. What parts of my digestive system are affected at this point? 4. What medications do you recommend? ...

    Read the 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Inflammatory Bowel Disease article > >

    The FDA has approved five biologics to treat Crohn’s disease:

    Adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, and infliximab target a protein called TNF-alpha that's part of the inflammation process.

    Natalizumab blocks certain white blood cells that lead to inflammation.

    Vedolizumab stops the cells from crossing the blood vessels' walls into inflamed areas of your gastrointestinal tract.

    Adalimumab (Humira)

    This drug may lessen symptoms of moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. It may also help keep them from coming back.

    How’s it given: You get it by aninjection under the skin.

    What are the most common side effects?

    What are some other potential side effects? All biologics share the potential for serious side effects, including infections like tuberculosis and sepsis. These drugs don't cause tuberculosis, but they may trigger it in people already exposed to the disease.

    A few people have gotten cancers like lymphoma.

    Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)

    This drug reduces symptoms of moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. It also helps to keep them from returning.

    How’s it given: You get it by injection under the skin.

    What are the most common side effects?

    What are other potential side effects? You may be more likely to get tuberculosis and sepsis.

    You odds of getting other infections may be higher than most. Tell your doctor right away if you have an infection, or if you have a cough, fever, fatigue, or the flu. In rare cases, people have developed cancers like lymphoma.

    Infliximab (Remicade)

    This drug can lessen your symptoms. It may also help heal and reduce your number of fistulas. These are sores that form tunnels between parts of your intestines, or from the intestines to your organs or skin. They often become infected and drain pus, mucus, or stool.

    Today on WebMD

    woman with pains in abdomen
    Get personalized tips.
    doctor talking with female patient
    10 questions for your doctor.
     
    woman clutching at stomach
    Causes, symptoms, treatments, and more.
    butter curls
    What to eat and avoid.
     
    Living With Crohns Slideshow
    Slideshow
    Ulcerative Colitis Surgery Slideshow
    Slideshow
     
    crohns disease healthcheck
    Tool
    Ulcerative Colitis Health Check
    Tool
     
    Crohns Symptoms
    Quiz
    Ulcerative Colitis Diet
    Slideshow
     
    Crohns Prebiotic
    Article
    woman holding stomach
    Article