Is celiac disease curable by medicine?

Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN

Q: Is celiac disease curable by medicine?

Answer


There is currently no medication available to cure celiac disease. The only treatment available to manage celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. However, there are several medications that are being studied for celiac disease that may become available in the future:

ImmusanT is working on a vaccine called Nexvax2 that aims to restore tolerance to gluten in individuals with celiac disease. However, we do not know if, or when this will become available. The vaccine is developed for those who have the HLA-DQ2.5 gene, which covers about 90% of those with celiac disease. It will not be effective for those with the HLA-DQ8 gene. The vaccine is currently in phase II trials. You can read more about it here:

http://www.immusant.com/clinical-development/scientific-approach.php

There are also several enzymes being developed and studied for celiac disease. However, they will not be a cure, but an adjunct to a strict gluten-free diet. Here is a post from a previous question that Melinda Dennis, MS, RDN, LDN answered discussing enzymes:

https://nationalceliac.org/celiac-disease-questions/gliadinx-product-digestive-enzyme-supplement/

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.

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