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Celiac Disease Drug Shows Some Promise, But Offers No Cure

Celiac.com 10/14/2014 - A new drug designed to prevent gluten uptake in the gut is showing some promise for the treatment of celiac disease.

Photo: Drs. Mayo Stamp--Wikimedia CommmonsThe drug, larazotide acetate, significantly reduced symptoms in a large double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The drug prevents gluten uptake by closing tight junctions in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

The drug is intended to supplement, rather than replace, the gluten-free diet that makes up the standard celiac disease treatment. Specifically, the drug is designed to help patients who continue to experience symptoms despite efforts to avoid gluten, and will not allow celiac patients to eat gluten with impunity.

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Some experts are cautioning celiac disease patients against high expectations. Joseph A. Murray, MD, of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, said that, even if the drug is approved, it would not be a cure for celiac disease, but just another way to control symptoms for those already on a gluten-free diet.

Daniel Leffler, MD, director of research at the Celiac Center of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, called the news “exciting.” Dr. Leffler predicted that, if approved, the drug would be a useful addition to standard celiac disease treatment.

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4 Responses:

 
Teresa

said this on
20 Oct 2014 3:07:43 PM PDT
That would be terrific but the side effects could be worse then the actual symptoms.

 
Laura

said this on
21 Oct 2014 4:32:34 PM PDT
What would be the long term effects of such a drug? I would love additional protection from the cross contamination that seems to stalk me, but the last thing I need to deal with are side effects or damage from another drug. Any word on that?

 
Jefferson
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
23 Oct 2014 5:53:57 PM PDT
This drug is in early trials, so it's impossible to know about long-term effects. So far, the drug seems to be well-tolerated, but only extensive testing and time can answer your question with any certainty.

 
Irv
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
23 Oct 2014 8:09:06 AM PDT
Interesting.




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It took me 20 years or more Barry so I wouldn't claim any great insight on this I had a 'eureka' moment, up until then I was walking around with multiple symptoms and not connecting any dots whatsoever. It is very, very difficult to diagnose and that's something that's reflected in so many of the experiences detailed here. A food diary may help in your case. It helped me to connect the gaps between eating and onset. It could help you to track any gluten sources should you go gluten free. It is possible for your reactions to change over time. As to whether its celiac, that's something you could explore with your doctor, stay on gluten if you choose to go that way. best of luck! Matt

I took Zoloft once. Loved it until it triggered microscopic colitis (colonoscopy diagnosed it). Lexapro did the same. However, I have a family member who is fiagnosed celiac and tolerates Celexa well.

Thanks for the update and welcome to the club you never wanted to join! ?

Jmg, I am glad you were able to come to the realisation that the culprit was in fact gluten. For me its not so simple. IBS runs in the family, as do several food intolerances. Its just in the last while that I can finally reach the conclusion that for me its gluten. The fact that it is a delayed effect-several hours after, made it harder. Friday I had some KFC, felt great. Saturday evening felt sleepy, Sunday felt awful and my belly was huge. I think I have gone from mildly sensitive to full blown celiac over the course of five years-if that possible. Thanks for all your help.

I thought I'd take a moment to provide an update, given how much lurking I've done on these forums the last year. It took a long time, but I've since had another gastroenterologist visit, many months of eating tons of bread, and an endoscopy where they took several biopsies. I have to say, the endoscopy was a super quick and efficient experience. During the procedure they let me know that it looked somewhat suspicious, causing them to take many biopsies, and then did comprehensive blood work. About a month later, I received a call telling me that the TTG came back positive a second time, and that the biopsies were a mix of negative (normal) results and some that were positive (showing blunting of the villi). As a result, I've been given a celiac diagnosis. It's been about a month now that I've been eating gluten free. Not sure if I'm really feeling all that different yet. It's a bit twisted to say, but in some way I was hoping for this diagnosis ? thinking how nice it would be to have an explanation, a plan of action, and feeling better. It's certainly no small change to be totally gluten free, but I'm hopeful.