Crohn’s is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease that belongs to a larger group of illnesses called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is associated with inflammation of the digestive tract, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which runs from the mouth to the anus, and includes the stomach and intestines. It more commonly affects the end of the small intestine and the large intestine.
The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is not fully understood; but it’s thought to be a result of a combination of factors:
About 5% to 20% of patients have a close relative with either Crohn's or ulcerative colitis
If the relative with Crohn's is a brother or sister, a person’s risk of having it is 30X greater
While several genes were found to be associated with Crohn's, many people who carry these genes do not develop Crohn's
Immune responses in the GI tract can be due to exposure to foreign substances in the environment
Inflammation can also be triggered by microorganisms and intestinal bacteria
Crohn’s is more common in urban than in rural areas and in northern rather than southern climates
Certain foods can aggravate symptoms in some people, but there have been no studies to suggest that diet can either cause or treat Crohn's
Researchers believe substances in the intestines are mistaken for invading substances (antigens)
To combat these antigens, your immune system causes temporary inflammation, which is reduced as you regain health
With Crohn's, inflammation can persist long after your immune system should have finished its job
Crohn's disease has always been difficult to diagnose, because symptoms vary from patient to patient, and because it can be similar to other conditions. Doctors evaluate the patient's history and physical exams, as well as 1 or more laboratory tests such as blood tests, stool tests, barium X-ray, colonoscopy, biopsy, computerized tomography, and video capsule endoscopy.
However, with more up-to-date methods used by gastroenterologists who specialize in Crohn's and other IBDs, it may be easier to get a definitive diagnosis.Get the Most from Your Next Doctor’s Appointment
You should discuss the potential benefits and risks of HUMIRA with your doctor. HUMIRA is a TNF blocker medicine that can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. You should not start taking HUMIRA if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor says it is okay.
Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before starting HUMIRA, and check you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with HUMIRA, even if your TB test was negative. If your doctor feels you are at risk, you may be treated with medicine for TB.
Cancer. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, the chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. There have been cases of unusual cancers in children, teenagers, and young adults using TNF blockers. Some people have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of cancer often results in death. If using TNF blockers including HUMIRA, your chance of getting two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) may increase. These types are generally not life-threatening if treated; tell your doctor if you have a bump or open sore that doesn’t heal.
Tell your doctor about all of your health conditions, including if you:
Also tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. You should not take HUMIRA with ORENCIA® (abatacept), KINERET® (anakinra), REMICADE® (infliximab), ENBREL® (etanercept), CIMZIA® (certolizumab pegol), or SIMPONI® (golimumab). Tell your doctor if you have ever used RITUXAN® (rituximab), IMURAN® (azathioprine), or PURINETHOL® (mercaptopurine, 6-MP).
HUMIRA can cause serious side effects, including:
Call your doctor or get medical care right away if you develop any of the above symptoms.
Common side effects of HUMIRA include injection site reactions (redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising), upper respiratory infections (sinus infections), headaches, rash, and nausea. These are not all of the possible side effects with HUMIRA. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
HUMIRA is given by injection under the skin.
HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used:
HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used to reduce signs and symptoms, and to achieve and maintain clinical remission in adults with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease who have not responded well to conventional treatments. HUMIRA is also used to reduce signs and symptoms and achieve clinical remission in these adults who have also lost response to or are unable to tolerate infliximab.
Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. HUMIRA may increase the chance of getting lymphoma, including a rare kind, or other cancers. HUMIRA can cause serious side effects including hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus, allergic reactions, nervous system problems, blood problems, heart failure, certain immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome, liver problems, and new or worsening psoriasis.