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New Treatment Helps People Live With Crohn's Disease

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RALEIGH — More than a half-million Americans have Crohn's disease, a painful and even life-threatening condition. A new option appears to be a cure-all for some patients.

The inflammatory disease

of the small and large intestines can cause diarrhea, bleeding and malnutrition.

This week, the FDA approved a new drug for continuous use in the treatment of Crohn's.


had already been approved as a single dose treatment for Crohn's, but now it is available for long-term control of the symptoms.

In studies, more than 550 patients received injections of Remicade every eight weeks for a year. Thirty-nine percent of patients went into remission and stayed there.

"It's the ability to maintain remission that keeps people from coming back and having active symptoms, and allows them to lead a relatively normal life," says gastroenterologist Dr. Gary Lichtenstein.

Remicade is recommended for patients with moderate or severe forms of Crohn's disease who do not do well on traditional medications.

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