If you’ve been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), your doctor may discuss Entyvio with you.

It’s a prescription medication used in adults with IBD to treat moderate to severe:

To learn more about these conditions and how Entyvio is used for them, see the “What is Entyvio used for?” section below.

Entyvio basics

Entyvio comes inside single-dose vials. You’ll receive the drug at your doctor’s office or a clinic as an intravenous (IV) infusion. An IV infusion is an injection that’s given slowly into your vein.

Entyvio contains the active drug vedolizumab. It’s an immunotherapy medication. This means it works with your immune system to treat your condition.

It’s also a biologic drug. Biologics are drugs made from living organisms.

Entyvio isn’t available in biosimilar form. A biosimilar drug is like a generic drug, but unlike generics which are exact copies of nonbiologics, biosimilars are made of living organisms for biologics.

In this article, we cover the uses, side effects, and more of Entyvio.

Like most drugs, Entyvio may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

Keep in mind that side effects of Entyvio can vary depending on:

  • your age
  • other health conditions you have
  • how well your immune system is working
  • other medications you may be taking

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Entyvio. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.

Mild side effects

Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects Entyvio can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Entyvio’s medication guide.

Mild side effects of Entyvio that have been reported include:

Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect focus” section below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Entyvio can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Entyvio, call your doctor right away. However, if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Entyvio that have been reported include:

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect focus” section below.

Side effect focus

Learn more about some of the side effects Entyvio may cause.

Brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)

Taking Entyvio may increase the risk of a rare viral infection in the brain called PML. With this condition, a virus attacks the protective coating of nerve fibers in your brain.

The risk of PML is higher if your immune system is weakened. You may have a weakened immune system if you have HIV, cancer, or a transplanted organ. This may also happen if you’re taking immunosuppressant drugs.

Symptoms of PML may include:

  • vision changes
  • trouble with balance
  • trouble moving your arms and legs
  • drooping of your face
  • weakness that steadily gets worse
  • problems with your memory and ability to speak
  • changes in your personality

What might help

While you’re taking Entyvio, your doctor will monitor you for PML.

If your doctor thinks you have PML, they’ll order tests to see if you have the condition. Examples of these tests include blood tests, a brain biopsy, or a spinal tap.

If you have PML, your doctor will have you stop treatment with Entyvio. This allows your immune system to recover and fight off the infection. Your doctor may also recommend other treatments for PML.

Before taking Entyvio, talk with your doctor about your risk for PML. Tell them if you have any conditions that lower the activity of your immune system. Your doctor can tell you more about this side effect.

Liver problems

In rare cases, some people taking Entyvio may have liver damage or other liver problems. These problems could include hepatitis (inflammation in the liver).

In some people taking Entyvio during studies, the drug increased liver enzyme levels and bilirubin levels. These changes can cause hepatitis or other serious injury to your liver.

With liver problems, you may have:

  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes)
  • nausea or vomiting
  • loss of appetite

What might help

Before starting Entyvio, tell your doctor if you’ve ever had hepatitis or other serious liver problems.

If you have symptoms of liver problems with Entyvio, call your doctor right away. They can check your liver function. If needed, they’ll have you stop treatment with Entyvio.

Talk with your doctor about your risk for liver problems with Entyvio.

Joint pain

Entyvio can cause joint pain. It’s important to know that joint pain is common in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which Entyvio treats.

The most common types of joint pain with IBD affect the ankle, wrist, and knee joints.

What might help

If you have arthritis or joint pain, tell your doctor before taking Entyvio. They can tell you if Entyvio may worsen your joint problem.

Your doctor can also tell you ways to manage joint pain. And they’ll recommend whether the benefits of Entyvio outweigh its risks. There are some tips you can try at home to reduce joint pain.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Entyvio.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Entyvio. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. To find current prices for Entyvio in your area, visit GoodRx.com.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the Entyvio manufacturer’s website to see if they have support options.

Find answers below to some commonly asked questions about Entyvio.

How does Entyvio work? Is it an immunosuppressant?

Entyvio belongs to a group of drugs called integrin receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the effects of integrin (a type of protein).

Integrin causes white blood cells responsible for inflammation to enter your digestive tract. It’s thought that people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an overactive immune system, which causes inflammation. And Entyvio is used to treat IBD.

The exact mechanism of action of Entyvio isn’t known. It’s believed that by blocking integrin, Entyvio reduces inflammation in your digestive tract.

Entyvio isn’t a systemic immunosuppressant. (Systemic drugs affect your whole body.) Entyvio has a selective effect on your gut. It doesn’t affect your entire immune system.

Instead, Entyvio is an immunotherapy medication. This means it works with your immune system to treat your condition.

If you’d like to know more about how Entyvio works for your condition, ask your doctor for details.

Are there any reviews available from people who’ve used Entyvio?

The manufacturer of Entyvio provides some reviews from people who’ve taken this drug. You can find those reviews here.

You can also ask your doctor for more information about their experience with Entyvio and how other people they’ve cared for have responded to the drug. Your doctor can also tell you about studies of people who’ve taken Entyvio.

Is Entyvio similar to Stelara?

Somewhat. These drugs have similarities, but they also have some important differences.

Both Stelara and Entyvio are biologic drugs. Biologics are drugs made from living organisms. These two drugs work by blocking certain proteins that cause inflammation. But they work in different ways.

Entyvio and Stelara are both used in adults with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. But Stelara can also be used for other autoimmune conditions, such as psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis.

These drugs also have some similar side effects and precautions.

To learn more about how the drugs compare, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about the benefits and risks of each.

Does Entyvio cause weight gain? How can you manage or lose weight while using Entyvio?

Weight gain hasn’t been reported as a side effect of Entyvio.

But it’s possible for you to gain some weight if your symptoms lessen or disappear with Entyvio treatment. This may happen when the drug reduces inflammation and pain in your digestive tract.

If you’re concerned about weight changes with Entyvio, tell your doctor. They can suggest ways to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Will I have hair loss with Entyvio?

Hair loss wasn’t reported as a side effect in studies of Entyvio. But it may occur from many causes, such as:

If you have hair loss while you’re taking Entyvio, talk with your doctor. They can check to see what’s causing your hair loss. And they may offer solutions to help manage it.

How long do Entyvio’s side effects last? Does it cause long-term side effects?

Your side effects from Entyvio and how long they last will depend on individual factors. These include:

  • your overall health
  • other medications you may be taking
  • your age

A long-term study of people taking Entyvio showed the drug was safe for long-term use. The study found that some people had serious side effects with Entyvio. But serious side effects other than those seen with short-term use weren’t reported.

In some cases, you may have serious side effects with Entyvio that don’t go away. If this happens, tell your doctor right away. They’ll discuss your options, including whether you’ll need to stop taking Entyvio.

You’ll receive doses of Entyvio by healthcare professionals at a doctor’s office or clinic.

Below are commonly used dosages. Your doctor will explain the dose that’s right for you to manage your condition.

Receiving Entyvio

Entyvio comes inside single-dose vials. It’s a solid powder that has to be mixed with solution before it’s administered to you.

You’ll receive the drug in your doctor’s office or a clinic as an intravenous (IV) infusion. An IV infusion is an injection that’s given slowly into your vein.

Your doctor will monitor you during and after the infusion. This way, they can make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction, infusion reaction, or other serious reaction to the drug.

Dosage

How often you’ll receive Entyvio infusions is described below.

There’s no loading dose for Entyvio. (With a loading dose, a drug is given at a higher dose than usual at the start of treatment. This can help you have benefits sooner with treatment.)

It’s important to note that Entyvio is stopped if your condition doesn’t improve by week 14 of treatment.

Entyvio infusion schedule

Entyvio has a recommended dosing schedule, which describes how often you’ll receive infusions of the drug.

When you begin treatment, you’ll receive one dose of Entyvio. Then, you’ll receive another dose 2 weeks later, and another 6 weeks after the first.

After this, you’ll receive the drug once every 8 weeks to maintain remission of your condition. (With remission, you do not have symptoms of the condition.)

The drug doesn’t have an alternate dosing schedule, such as once every 4 weeks.

Entyvio infusion time

Entyvio also has a specific infusion time, which describes how long it takes to administer a dose of the drug.

Entyvio is given slowly by IV infusion, over a period of 30 minutes.

Questions about taking Entyvio

Here’s a list of common questions related to taking Entyvio.

  • What if I miss a dose of Entyvio? Entyvio doses are given at a doctor’s office or clinic. Your doctor’s office will schedule times for you to receive doses of the drug. If you miss an appointment, call your doctor’s office so they can reschedule your appointment as soon as possible.
  • Will I need to use Entyvio long term? How long you’ll receive Entyvio depends on how well your condition responds to the drug. It can also depend on whether you have serious side effects from it. The drug is meant to be used long term to manage your symptoms. Your doctor will carefully monitor you during treatment. They’ll discuss your treatment plan and how long you should take Entyvio.
  • Should I take Entyvio with food? Entyvio is given as an IV infusion. Because it’s given directly into your vein, it’s not affected by whether you’ve eaten.
  • How long does Entyvio take to work? Entyvio is given in two phases. During the first, called the induction phase, you’ll get three doses of Entyvio over 6 weeks. During the second, called the maintenance phase, you’ll receive Entyvio once every 8 weeks. In studies, most people had significantly less symptoms at week 6 of treatment. You may see some symptom relief after your first dose of Entyvio. But it may take several weeks for you to be free of symptoms. If you don’t have significantly reduced symptoms by week 14 of treatment, your doctor will likely have you stop taking Entyvio.
Questions for your doctor

You may have questions about Entyvio and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.

Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:

  • Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
    • How will Entyvio affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
  • Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable.
  • If you don’t understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.

Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.

Before you start treatment with Entyvio, ask your doctor about the benefits and risks of treatment. Tell them about all your health conditions and any medications you’re currently taking.

These and other considerations are described below.

Interactions

Taking medications, vaccines, foods, and other things with a certain drug can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.

Before taking Entyvio, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter types. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Entyvio.

Interactions with drugs or supplements

Entyvio can interact with several types of drugs. Certain interactions may increase your risk for infections with Entyvio treatment.

Examples of drugs that should not be used with Entyvio include:

This list does not contain all types of drugs that may interact with Entyvio. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that may occur with use of Entyvio.

Other interactions

You should not take any live vaccines while you’re receiving Entyvio. (Live vaccines contain weakened, but live germs they’re meant to protect you from.)

This is because Entyvio lowers your immune system’s ability to fight off infections. Getting a live vaccine while you’re taking Entyvio increases your risk of getting the disease the vaccine should prevent.

Examples of live vaccines include:

Before starting treatment with Entyvio, talk with your doctor about your immunizations. Be sure you’re up to date on vaccinations before starting Entyvio. Also, ask your doctor if it’s safe for people in your home to receive live vaccines while you’re receiving Entyvio.

Entyvio and COVID-19 vaccines

The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved for use in the United States aren’t live vaccines. If you haven’t received one, check with your doctor about doing so before starting Entyvio.

Entyvio can increase your risk for some infections. Ask your doctor for more information about the safety of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine while you’re taking Entyvio.

Warnings

Entyvio may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Entyvio. Factors to consider include those in the list below.

  • Infections. If you have an infection, you should not start taking Entyvio until the infection is cleared from your body. And if you develop a serious infection while you’re receiving Entyvio, your doctor will have you stop the drug. Then, they’ll treat the infection before having you start taking Entyvio again.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Entyvio or any of its ingredients, you should not take Entyvio. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Infusion reaction. In rare cases, some people have an infusion reaction when receiving infusions of Entyvio. Your doctor will monitor you for infusion reactions when you receive doses of the drug. And they’ll stop the infusion if you have a serious reaction to Entyvio.
  • Liver problems. Tell your doctor if you’ve ever had liver disease. Entyvio can make liver problems worse. If needed, your doctor will monitor your liver function while you’re taking Entyvio. Ask your doctor for more information about this.
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML is a rare, serious infection that affects the brain. You may have a higher risk for PML if you have HIV, cancer, a transplanted organ, or other health conditions that affect your immune system. Your doctor can discuss if Entyvio is safe for you to take.

Entyvio and alcohol

There aren’t any known interactions between Entyvio and alcohol.

But drinking alcohol may worsen symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, which Entyvio is used to treat. It can also increase some of the drug’s side effects, such as nausea and headache.

Drinking large amounts of alcohol while taking Entyvio can also increase your risk for liver damage.

Ask your doctor if it’s safe to drink alcohol while you’re taking Entyvio, and if so, how much is safe.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

There’s not enough known about the risks of Entyvio use during pregnancy.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about using Entyvio. They can provide information about the drug’s pros and cons.

Also, if you’re pregnant and taking Entyvio, you can sign up for the drug’s pregnancy registry. To do this, call 877-TAKEDA7 (877-825-3327). Pregnancy registries gather information about certain drugs and their effects during pregnancy. This data can help researchers and doctors understand risks of using a drug during pregnancy.

Entyvio does pass into breast milk. But the risks from Entyvio exposure in breastfed children are not clear. Talk with your doctor about the safety of breastfeeding while taking Entyvio. Your doctor may offer suggestions on alternative ways to feed your child while you’re receiving Entyvio.

Entyvio and Remicade are both used to manage symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Specifically, they’re both used for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Remicade is also used to manage other autoimmune conditions.

Remicade has the active ingredient infliximab and Entyvio has the active ingredient vedolizumab. Both drugs are given by intravenous (IV) infusion, which is an injection that’s given slowly into your vein.

Talk with your doctor if you have more questions about Entyvio versus Remicade. You can also check out this detailed breakdown of the two medications.

Entyvio and Humira are both used to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Humira is used to treat some other autoimmune diseases, too.

Humira has the active ingredient adalimumab, and Entyvio has the active ingredient vedolizumab.

Humira is given as an injection under the skin. You can give the drug to yourself at home.

Entyvio, on the other hand, is given at a doctor’s office or clinic. It’s given by intravenous (IV) infusion, which is an injection that’s given slowly into your vein.

If you’d like to know about the similarities and differences of Entyvio and Humira, see this comparison. And talk with your doctor about which drug is right for you.

If you have a certain autoimmune disease, your doctor may prescribe Entyvio for you. It’s a biologic drug that treats inflammatory bowel disease that’s causing symptoms.

Specifically, Entyvio is used in adults to treat moderate to severe:

Entyvio helps manage these immune-related conditions, but it doesn’t cure them.

Entyvio works by blocking a protein that signals certain white blood cells responsible for inflammation in your gut. This helps reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, your doctor may discuss Entyvio with you. It’s a prescription medication used in adults to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Ask your doctor for information about the risks and benefits of Entyvio for your condition. Here are a few questions you can ask:

  • How long will I need to take Entyvio?
  • Do I need to have steady Entyvio levels in my body to keep my condition in remission?
  • Does Entyvio cause kidney problems, such as kidney cancer?
  • Can I restart Entyvio treatment after stopping it for a while?
  • What can I expect when I start treatment with Entyvio?
  • Do I need to stop taking Entyvio if I get the flu or another infection?

You can also learn more about treatment options for these conditions by reading these articles:

Additionally, you can sign up for Healthline’s IBD newsletter to learn more about this disease.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.