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Entocort for Crohn's Disease

New treatment reduces side effects of steroid use

THURSDAY, Oct. 4, 2001 (HealthDayNews) -- The FDA has approved the steroid Entocort EC (budesonide) capsules for treatment of mild-to-moderate Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel condition. It can result in severe diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, fatigue, anorexia and weight loss. Its cause remains unknown.

The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America gives all the particulars of Crohn's research up to now. Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, steroids have been used to treat Crohn's disease. But constant use of steroids can have some damaging side effects. This information from the Steroid Warning Network gives a list of the many difficulties prolonged steroid use can create.

Unlike other steroids used to treat Crohn's disease, Entocort is barely absorbed by intestinal tissue, so it doesn't cause facial swelling, known as "moon face," or acne, which are problems associated with prednisone or prednisolone tablets.

In a clinical trial, researchers studied the effects of Entocort EC on 651 people with Crohn's disease. They noted general improvements in Crohn's symptoms, without the usual facial swelling or acne. AstraZeneca LP of Wilmington, Del., developed and will market the drug.

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