How Entyvio (vedolizumab) Works in Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
What Is Entyvio (Vedolizumab)?
Entyvio is the brand name of the generic drug vedolizumab, which is used to relieve symptoms of Crohn's disease (a condition where the body's immune system attacks the lining of the digestive tract) and ulcerative colitis (a condition that causes swelling and sores in the lining of the large intestine). These conditions are collectively referred to as inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD.
Ulcerative colitis affects about 620,000 Americans, and Crohn's disease affects about 500,000. Both can cause pain, cramping, severe diarrhea, and weight loss.
Entyvio, which is given intravenously by a medical professional, is in a class of drugs known as integrin receptor antagonists. They work by reducing the effects of a substance in the body that can cause inflammation. The injectable drug may also reduce your need for steroids by helping to control symptoms long-term.
The medication is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May, 2014.
Entyvio may cause serious allergic reactions during the infusion and for several hours after. You should tell your doctor if you experience any symptoms of a reaction, which include:
- Swelling of the face, eyes, mouth, throat, tongue, or lips
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Feeling hot
- Fast or racing heartbeat
Entyvio may help control your symptoms, but it will not cure your condition. If your symptoms have not improved after 14 weeks of taking Entyvio, your doctor may stop treating you with the medication.
The drug may increase your risk of contracting a serious infection. You should tell your doctor if you have an infection or a history of infections. You should also alert your physician if you have tuberculosis or have been in close contact with someone who has tuberculosis.
Although it has not been reported in patients taking Entyvio, you may be at a higher risk for developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare but serious brain infection caused by a virus.
Before taking Entyvio, you should tell your doctor if you have liver problems.
You should not have any "live" vaccinations (such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, chickenpox, shingles, influenza) while taking Entyvio. You should also avoid contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed to you.
Pregnancy and Entyvio
Entyvio s labeled a Pregnancy Category B drug by the FDA, which means no studies have shown that Entyvio will harm an unborn baby. Nonetheless, you should tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this medication.
It's also not known if Entyvio passes into breast milk.
Entyvio Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Entyvio
You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or do not go away:
- Joint or back pain
- Pain in the arms or legs
Severe Side Effects of Entyvio
You should alert your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Red or painful skin or sores on the body
- Fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, chills, aches, or other signs of infection
- Confusion or memory difficulties
- Painful urination
- Changes in speech or walking
- Loss of balance
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurred vision or vision loss
- Decrease in strength or weakness on one side of the body
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
You should tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you are taking, especially:
Entyvio comes as a powder to be mixed and injected intravenously over a period of 30 minutes. The drug is administered by a doctor or nurse in a clinic or doctor's office. It's typically given once every two to eight weeks.
Video: My experience with Entyvio (vedolizumab) for crohns and colitis
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