FDA Approves New Obesity Drug

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the third new prescription drug for obesity since 2012. The drug, Contrave, to be used along with a low-calorie diet and exercise regimen, was approved for treatment of obese adults (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or greater) or overweight adults (BMI

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Podcast: Efficacy of Vedolizumab in Patients with Moderately to Severely Active Crohn’s disease

Listen to Bruce Sands discuss his article in the September issue of Gastroenterology discussing results from placebo-controlled, phase 3 double-blind trial of the efficacy of vedolizumab  in patients with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease, including those for whom previous anti-TNF treatment had failed. Sands et al. report that vedolizumab, an antibody against the integrin α4β7, is no more effective

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  • A Window of Opportunity for Treating Patients with Cirrhosis

A Window of Opportunity for Treating Patients with Cirrhosis

Despite the ability of nonselective β blockers (NSBBs) to reduce portal pressure and lower the risk of variceal hemorrhage in patients with cirrhosis, these drugs have detrimental effects on those who have developed spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, researchers show in the June issue of Gastroenterology. Variceal hemorrhage, the most common lethal complication of

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In Treating Crohn’s Disease, Earlier is Better

Patients receiving medical therapies when they have more complicated stages of Crohn’s disease (CD) are more likely to require surgery, researchers report in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The disease is most-effectively treated by drugs at its early, inflammatory stages. Patients have a 40%–71% risk for requiring

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How Does an Antibiotic Reduce Symptoms of IBS?

Rifaximin alters the intestinal microbiota to prevent inflammation and visceral hyperalgesia in stressed rats, according to the February issue of Gastroenterology. These findings could explain the ability of this antibiotic to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in patients. Rifaximin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that has been approved by

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Are IBD Drugs Safe During Pregnancy?

Researchers find no evidence that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during pregnancy, or medical treatment for IBD during pregnancy, increases risk for congenital abnormalities in children. The findings, based on a large database analysis, are published in the January issue of Gastroenterology. IBD frequently affects women of reproductive age, and is often

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A New Drug for Diabetes and Fatty Liver Disease?

Obeticholic acid (OCA)—an agonist of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR)— increases insulin sensitivity and reduces markers of liver inflammation and fibrosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology. Type 2 diabetes mellitus and

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Are Patients Receiving the Latest Anti-HCV Drugs?

Less than 20% of patients infected with the most common Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype receive the latest drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. This low percentage could result from concerns of side effects or patient

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Long-Term Effects of Teduglutide for Short-Bowel Syndrome

The glucagon-like peptide (GLP) teduglutide is effective for long-term treatment of patients with short-bowel syndrome intestinal failure, according to the July issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Short-bowel syndrome is a relatively rare condition that results from massive small bowel resection or bypass. Patients used to die from nutrient malabsorption

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Can We Increase the Sensitivity of Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Chemotherapeutics?

Researchers have identified small molecules that increase the ability of chemotherapeutic agents to kill pancreatic cancer cells and slow tumor growth in mice, according to the February issue of Gastroenterology. One way that chemotherapeutics such gemcitabine, 5-fluorouracil, and platinum-based compounds kill cancer cells is by causing tumor suppressor proteins to

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