A Genetic Test Can Make IBD Treatments Safer
If you or someone you know suffers from irritable bowel disease, also known as IBD, you know how difficult it can be to treat it successfully. Now, there is a genetic test that can make IBD treatments safer for the patients who need them. Keep reading to learn more.
Being Able to Figure Out Patients at Risk of Side Effects
According to Technology Networks, experts have figured out a way to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease in a safer way. Put simply, experts have made a new discovery that can help them figure out which patients would be the most at risk of experiencing serious drug side effects that could potentially even be fatal.
A Gene Mutation
How can experts make IBD treatments safer? Well, it all boils down to a gene mutation that they discovered. It lets them figure out which patients are at the greatest risk of unwanted side effects, so doctors can use that information to cater their treatment plans for every one of their patients.
In particular, the goal is to lower the risk of side effects that are usually caused by IBD treatments involving what are known as thiopurines. Those consist of mercaptopurine and azathioprine.
Why is this so important? Well, roughly 1/3 of individuals who have been diagnosed with IBD end up being prescribed a thiopurine medication. Unfortunately, about 7% of those people who use this treatment end up having an adverse reaction known as bone marrow suppression. In other words, their immune system becomes less capable of fighting off infections, and the IBD patients end up having a greater risk of developing a serious side effect known as sepsis.
More Information Means Less Risk
Now that researchers have discovered a means by which they can determine which patients would be at the greatest risk of serious side effects from common IBD treatments, they can do more to keep patients safe. The next goal is to develop a test that could be as simple as a blood test to determine which medications can be used safely, and which ones can be modified to become safer while remaining effective in the treatment of IBD.
If you are currently experiencing IBD symptoms, talk to your doctor. There are several treatment options available to help you get your digestive health back on track, so there is no need to live with the discomfort that comes with this condition. And, thanks to ongoing research, the treatments will only continue getting better.