What Is Natalizumab Used For?
Crohn's DiseaseCrohn's disease is a chronic disease associated with inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Crohn's disease can develop anywhere along the digestive tract, from the inside of the mouth to the anus. However, it most commonly affects the ileum (the last part of the small intestine) or the colon. With Crohn's disease, there may be healthy tissue in between areas of diseased tissue.
Crohn's disease is an illness that often involves periods of relapse, when symptoms are worse, alternating with periods of remission, when symptoms are minimal or absent. The actual symptoms of the disease can vary, as can the severity, depending in part on which area of the digestive tract is affected. However, in general, the most common symptoms of Crohn's disease include:
- Abdominal (stomach) pain
- Weight loss.
Natalizumab does not cure Crohn's disease. However, it can be used to reduce the signs and symptoms of the disease in people who are not receiving adequate benefit from or cannot take other Crohn's disease medicines, such as:
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
- Immunosuppressants, such as 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP, Purinethol®) and azathioprine (Imuran®)
- Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, such as infliximab (Remicade®) and adalimumab (Humira®).