Many patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) do not respond to treatment, or can lose the effects of treatment over time. This can be a serious issue - especially for patients with moderate or severe disease - as it often negatively impacts a patient's quality of life and overall well-being.
Fortunately, every few years new drugs are developed that may help control the disease when it remains active in patients. This year, a new drug called EntyvioTM (generic name vedolizumab) was approved for the treatment of both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. EntyvioTM works by blocking the movement of the body's white blood cells into areas of the GI tract that are inflamed.
Here is some important information about EntyvioTM:
- The FDA has approved EntyvioTM to treat adults with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- EntyvioTM is approved for use when one or more standard therapies such as steroids, immunomodulators (e.g. azathioprine), or tumor necrosis factor blocker medications (e.g. Remicade®) have not resulted in an adequate response - and patients are still unable to control their symptoms
- In two large clinical trials (GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2), EntyvioTM appeared to work better in ulcerative colitis patients than in Crohn’s disease patients
- The recommended dosage is 300 mg intravenously over approximately 30 minutes at zero, two and six weeks, then every eight weeks thereafter
- There is a slightly increased risk of gastrointestinal infections with EntyvioTM
- While a very rare neurologic condition called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) can occur with a similar medication, it does not appear to occur with EntyvioTM
Overall, EntyvioTM is a promising treatment option for patients that have not been able to control their symptoms using traditional therapies. The doctors of Temple University Hospital's Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program are very familiar with this new medication and can help you decide if it's the right therapy for you.