Which experimental agents have shown efficacy in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2017
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Clinical trial agents tend to be disease-specific (ie, an agent works for Crohn disease but not for ulcerative colitis, or vice versa). These include anti-adhesion molecules and anticytokine therapies. [1] In Crohn disease, additional agents include T-cell marker therapies and mesenchymal stem cells; in ulcerative colitis, anti-inflammatory proteins have also been studied. [1]

Experimental agents used in persons with Crohn disease include thalidomide (50-300 mg/day PO) and interleukin (IL)-11 (1 mg/wk SC). Experimental agents used in persons with ulcerative colitis include nicotine patch (14-21 mg/day via topical patch), butyrate enema (100 mL per rectum twice daily), and heparin (10,000 U SC twice daily). Multiple contraindications, interactions, and precautions are associated with these drugs.

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