New Crohn's Disease Treatment Has Fewer Side Effects

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CROHN'S DISEASE, a chronic disorder in which the intestinal lining becomes inflamed, causes a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea. And while standard corticosteroids such as prednisone are sometimes prescribed to control the inflammation, these medications come with their own unpleasant side effects, such as facial swelling and acne. But people with mild to moderate Crohn's disease now have another option. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new corticosteroid that causes fewer side effects than other steroids typically used to treat the condition.

In clinical trials, the new drug, Entocort EC (budesonide), was found to reduce intestinal inflammation while causing fewer incidents of facial swelling and acne. The reason Entocort produces fewer side effects is that it's active locally. That means the medication is released only in the intestines. Systemic steroids like prednisone circulate throughout the entire body.

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