Everyone gets bloated, gassy, constipated or in urgent need of moving the
bowels now and again, but when it happens regularly, it can be a real problem.
Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can be embarrassing to repeatedly cancel
social plans or decline invitations—particularly when pushed for an explanation.
But this is life for people with inflammatory bowel disease.
“Inflammatory bowel disease” is actually a catch-all term that refers to
inflammation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine or colon, or anywhere
along the digestive track. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are forms of
inflammatory bowel disease, for example. When the digestive tract becomes
inflamed, it disrupts digestion and, as a result, abdominal cramping may be
experienced, bloating, constipation or diarrhea. Left untreated, inflammatory
bowel disease can lead to weight loss, ulcers, malnutrition, intestinal rupture,
bowel obstruction and even colon cancer.
Initially, most patients with a form of inflammatory bowel disease are prescribed
diet and lifestyle changes, and oral medications if necessary. However,
sometimes patients report that the effectiveness of these treatments wane over
time or that the patient is otherwise not responsive to the treatments or
experiences unpleasant side effects from the prescribed oral medications.
In such cases, physicians will often prescribe infusion therapy with a medication
like REMICADE® (infliximab), an antibody that neutralizes inflammation. Infusion
therapy for inflammatory bowel disease is usually prescribed for patients with
moderate to severe illness to alleviate symptoms, reduce the likelihood or
duration of flareups and to improve quality of life.
Depending on the severity of the condition, doctors may also prescribe immune
suppressants, which prevent the immune system from attacking the intestines,
and medication to block tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein in the body that
If you suffer from a form of inflammatory bowel disease, Heartland Infusion
Pharmacy may be able to help. Speak with your doctor about infusion therapy and contact us for details and to help coordinate a course for intravenous therapy.