Pain in the upper abdomen that is worse before meals and during the night might be due to a peptic ulcer. The major cause of ulcers is an infection of the stomach by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori...


New treatments for Crohn's disease

Treatments that target specific parts of the body's inflammatory pathway are called monoclonal antibodies. The most exciting target molecule to date is called TNF and therefore these treatments are called anti-TNF antibodies.

The first treatment in this group is called infliximab - marketed in NZ as Remicaide. This needs to be given by intravenous infusion in a hsopital outpatient setting.

A new anti-TNF treatment is called adulimamab - marketed as Humira. This has the significant advantage of being able to given as a subcutaneous injection every fortnight. This treatment may also have less allergic reactions. Humira is now available through your gastroenterologist and is fully funded provided your fulfill some treatment criteria. Generally this treatment is only used for severe Crohn's disease. Usually the duration of treatment will be for more than 1 year - perhaps several years depending on your response

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