New Medications to Treat Elderly Patients With Crohn's disease

by Ramya Rachamanti on Mar 21 2019 4:03 PM

New Medications to Treat Elderly Patients With Crohn
Combination immunosuppressants which were successful in treating young patients with Crohn’s disease, were also found to be safe and effective among elderly, according to a study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
Among the 1,981 patients in the study, 311 were aged 60 years or older (173 randomised to early combined immunosuppression and 138 to conventional management). Over 24 months, 10 percent of older patients developed Crohn’s disease related complications (6.4 percent of those in the combined immunosuppression group versus 14.5 percent of those in the conventional management group) and 14 patients died (3.5 percent versus 5.8 percent)

Among the patients who received combined immunosuppression in the study, older patients experienced remission of their disease to a similar extent as those aged under 60 years. There was also no increase in side effects from these medicines in older patients.

"It is important to treat aggressive Crohn’s disease appropriately regardless of age," said lead author Dr. Siddharth Singh, of the University of California San Diego. "This may include early step-up combination therapy of tumour necrosis factor-alpha antagonists with thiopurines, which is effective and safe even in older patients, rather than treating these patients with chronic or repeated courses of corticosteroids."