medications help treat EoE by relieving inflammation and swelling in the lining of the esophagus that occur as part of an immune response to an allergen — usually food.
That response begins when immune system chemicals called cytokines trigger the release of eosinophils — white blood cells that fight infection.
As eosinophils flood the esophagus, the
lining swells and narrows.
The swelling can lead to dysphagia (trouble swallowing), regurgitation, and impaction (when food gets stuck in the esophagus). Over time the esophagus can become permanently scarred and narrow.
A biologic medication works by stopping the immune response at the source by blocking the release of cytokines and preventing a build-up of eosinophils.
Within a few weeks of starting treatment with a biologic, the number of eosinophils in the esophagus decreases. This relieves symptoms caused by inflammation and swelling, and also helps prevent permanent harm.