What Are the Biggest Challenges Facing Patients with Crohn's Disease?

Achilles Alon, PharmD, RPh, Director of Specialty Pharmacy, Co-owner of ACE-Rx Specialty Pharmacy, shares complications in treating patients with Crohn's disease.

Alon: Crohn’s Disease is, you know, it’s a population where a lot of the patients are very active. So, when you get diagnosed with Crohn’s disease it kind of hits you hard because you want to keep active and doing the things that you want to do.

But with Crohn’s disease you actually have to end up sacrificing a lot. So, not only do you have to be compliant with your medication, so if you’re on a biologic as a patient with Crohn’s disease you may not have been taking any medications in the past, and all of the sudden you’re having to inject yourself twice a week. That’s a challenge in itself, but on top of that they have to sacrifice, for instance, certain triggers with Crohn’s disease to make things worse for them, such as spicy food, even pizza or certain pastas or things like that. They have to watch that on a daily basis, throughout their whole life. They go from doing whatever they want to do, getting diagnosed, and then all of the sudden have to make these large changes in the way they live.

At our pharmacy, we like to coach the patients, not only through how to take the medication, but also how to stay away from those triggers. Stress is also a big part of Crohn’s Disease and can be a trigger for worsening the symptoms. Being able to help them through managing their stress is another big component.