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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Health Center

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Crohn's Drugs That Target Your Immune System

What Are Biologics?

These drugs also affect your immune system. But they focus solely on the inflammation in your gut, where they target certain proteins that play a role in inflammation.

Doctors use biologics if you have moderate to severe Crohn's that hasn’t responded well to other medications. They also use it to treat open, draining fistulas.

Some examples of biologics are:

  • Adalimumab (Humira)
  • Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)
  • Infliximab (Remicade)
  • Natalizumab (Tysabri)
  • Vedolizumab (Entyvio)

Do Biologics Have Side Effects?

Yes. But because of the way they work, they tend to cause fewer problems than other drugs used for Crohn's disease.

Your doctor will still watch you carefully, especially for signs of infection. Although rare, lymphoma and blood disorders can happen.

Before you take one of these drugs, let your doctor know if you have a heart condition or a disease that affects your nervous system.

You may have side effects at the injection site, like:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Swelling

Other possible side effects include:

  • Headache, fever, or chills
  • Trouble breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hives or rash
  • Stomach or back pain
  • Nausea
  • Cough and sore throat

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 05, 2015
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