Ulcerative Colitis Treatment Options Increase

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have a major impact on an individual’s life. The number of individuals living with IBD in Canada is growing rapidly. In their 2023 report, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada found that roughly 0.8% (322,600 people) of the Canadian population lived with IBD and this number was expected to rise to 1.1% (470,000) in 2035. The number of new diagnoses is rising most rapidly in children under the age of 6. Read more about the report here.

Lately, many advancements have been made in the treatments for ulcerative colitis. One of the latest updates includes a new oral treatment, called etrasimod (Velsipity). Etrasimod is thought to work by preventing the movement of immune cells from the lymphatic system, a collection of organs and tissues that defend the body against diseases. This should reduce the number of immune cells circulating in the body, therefore, reducing the amount of cells that reach the intestine. It is meant to be taken as one tablet once daily. Given that the number of treatments available in tablet-form are quite limited when managing ulcerative colitis, etrasimod is an exciting new option available to patients if deemed appropriate. We at Charlton Health are excited to work with physicians to get our patients started on the newest therapies in Canada.

Parvinder Sahota is a clinical pharmacist and a recent graduate from the University of Toronto. He enjoys learning about the ever-evolving field of autoimmune conditions and their treatment options.  

Kunal Bhatt, RPh, PharmD, HBSc is a staff pharmacist for Charlton Health. As a 2020 PharmD graduate from the University of Toronto, Kunal possesses a diverse range of experiences from working in hospital and community pharmacy settings. Kunal was heavily invested in contributing to the efforts against COVID-19 by administering upwards of 5000 COVID-19 vaccines at William Osler Health System’s vaccination clinics. 

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