IBD Drug May Help Treat Refractory Celiac Disease

January 28, 2011

IBD Drug May Help Treat Refractory Celiac Disease


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Half of patients studied reported symptom relief within 4 weeks.

While most celiac disease symptoms are resolved with a gluten-free diet, patients who suffer from refractory celiac disease do not find relief even after the dietary change.

Medications may be used to alleviate some of the symptoms, but most treatments are inadequate for these severe cases, according to researchers. A team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, however, may have found a new option.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology , a new study found that individuals with refractory celiac disease may respond to a drug typically used to treat inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The drug, small intestinal release mesalamine (SIRM), was administered to 10 patients with refractory celiac disease. Six of the patients also took oral budesonide along with SIRM.Within 4 weeks, half of the patients reported complete symptom relief, and another individual cited partial relief. Two of the participants were able to stop using budesonide during the trial. One patient discontinued the SIRM treatment due to headaches.

The research team, which included NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Board Members Dan Leffler, MD, MS, and Ciaran Kelly, MD, and Ask the Dietitian’s Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN, concluded that SIRM could be a safe, effective treatment for refractory celiac disease, but that additional trials would be needed.



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