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Humira Might Help Kids With Tough-to-Treat Crohn's Disease
Date:8/9/2012

schedule, again according to their body weight.

The researchers found that within one month, more than 80 percent of children with moderate to severe Crohn's disease responded to the drug, and six months after the treatment began, 34 percent of the children were in remission. At one year, over 28 percent of the kids were still in remission, the study found.

More children who received the high dose were in remission at week 26 compared to kids on the lower dose, the researchers noted. They added however, that the differences between the two dose groups were not significant.

The study's authors conclude that Humira is a promising new treatment for children with Crohn's disease, since many are resistant to existing therapies that are commonly used.

Another expert was heartened by the study results.

"Crohn's disease is an autoimmune disease involving the gastrointestinal tract that most commonly affects children and young adults and whose incidence has been increasing in recent decades," noted Dr. Jeremiah Levine, chief of the division of gastroenterology at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park, N.Y. He said that, "the newest medication used to control the disease (the monoclonal antibody infliximab) is occasionally associated with allergic reactions or lack of response."

Humira isn't as likely induce an allergic reaction, Levine said, and the new study suggests that it may be, "a safe and effective medication in children with moderate to severe Crohn's disease with a rapid onset of action."

However, both Levine and Levy said that potential side effects remain a concern.

"As is the case with all medications used to control the immune system, it needs to be used judiciously and monitored closely," Levy said.

The study was published in the August issue of Gastroenterology.

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