When the Entyvio injections began in October to treat ulcerative colitis, the waiver Katie Krug signed stated the pharmaceutical may cause serious brain infection that may lead to death.
“Very comforting,” the 32-year-old Grimes, Iowa, woman said.
It’s her fourth medication since she was diagnosis three-and-a-half years ago with the chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Remicade, Humira and Lialda each worked for a few months to stop flare ups but ultimately failed as her body tricked her into working up a resistance.
When the last one failed, an ulcer landed her in a hospital last summer hooked up to large doses of the potent steroid Prednisone.
“This is what legislators don’t understand,” Krug said. “These are very strong medications with serious side effects. No one’s ever died from cannabis.”
Because medical marijuana isn’t legal in Iowa, Krug said she’s running out of treatment options.
The FDA approved Entyvio in May, and Krug said it’s the last medication option available to her. If it doesn’t work, she’ll have to undergo surgery to have her colon removed.
Similar to Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis affects 620,000 Americans. It’s a qualifying condition in 23 states that legalized cannabis for medical use, including Illinois.
Krug has two daughters, ages 8 and 10, but she doesn’t have to explain to them why she wants to use marijuana.
“All they know is that it’s medicine, and they want Mommy to get better,” she said.