Monday, June 26, 2006

Crohn's Disease Helped by Drug that Helps with Alcohol Withdrawl

A Penn State College of Medicine pilot study suggests that a drug used to ease symptoms of alcohol and drug addiction may also bring relief to people with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the intestine that affects an estimated 500,000 Americans.

In the study, patients with diagnosed Crohn's disease were treated with a low dose of naltrexone, an FDA-approved drug used to ease symptoms of withdrawal from substance abuse, and monitored for improvement of symptoms for 12 weeks. Quality of life surveys were given every four weeks for 16 weeks.

Jill P. Smith, a gastroenterology specialist and researcher at the College of Medicine and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, presented her findings recently in Los Angeles at the National Association of Gastroenterologists annual Digestive Diseases Week conference.

The results showed that 89 percent of participants showed an improvement with therapy, while 67 percent achieved remission of symptoms. The only side effect to treatment was sleep disturbance in some patients.
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