How Do Inflammatory Bowel Disease Agents Work?

Reviewed on 6/22/2021

HOW DO INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE AGENTS WORK?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) agents are a combination of drugs mainly used to treat the symptoms of IBD.

IBD is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Types of IBD include:

  • Ulcerative colitis: This condition involves inflammation and sores along the upper lining of the colon and rectum.
  • Crohn's disease: It is characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract lining. It can sometimes invade the innermost layers of the digestive tract.

Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are usually characterized by:

IBD agents mainly aim to tackle the inflammation associated with the disease. Some of the commonly used agents are:

  • Biologic therapies: Biologics are a class of medications that reduce inflammation in the intestine by targeting specific immune system responses. There are two classes of biologic agents used to control inflammation:
    • Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors (also called anti-TNF drugs): TNF is a protein produced by white blood cells and involved in inflammatory reactions. Anti-TNF agents block TNF and thus reduce inflammation in the intestine.
    • Anti-integrin agents: Integrin is a protein that facilitates the binding of white blood cells (lymphocytes) to the stomach lining for producing inflammatory reactions. Anti-integrin agents block integrin and thus prevent the influx of inflammatory cells in the gastrointestinal tract lining.
  • Immunomodulators: Immunomodulators are drugs that modify the activity of the immune system to decrease the inflammatory response.

HOW ARE INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE AGENTS USED?

Inflammatory bowel disease agents are mainly used to treat different types of IBD, including:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn's disease

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE AGENTS?

Side effects may be mild or severe depending on the therapy given. They may include:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

SLIDESHOW

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment See Slideshow

WHAT ARE NAMES OF INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE AGENTS?

Generic and brand names of inflammatory bowel disease agents include:

References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/inflammatory-bowel-disease-agents

https://nyulangone.org/conditions/inflammatory-bowel-disease-in-adults/treatments/medication-for-inflammatory-bowel-disease-in-adults

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