Home Health What is a biological medical product or a biologic?

What is a biological medical product or a biologic?

Many would have come across the term “biologic” when reading on the different types of covid 19 vaccines (jenis vaksin covid 19). But what exactly is a biologic?

A biological medical product or biologic is a product, which is either made from live organisms or contains certain components of live organisms. Vaccines, somatic cells, tissues blood components, recombinant therapeutic proteins and gene therapy are all examples of biologics.

Biologics can be made up of carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, or living units such as cells and tissues. They are isolated from living organisms such as an animal, microbes or even humans and can be manufactured using biotechnology procedures and other advanced technologies.

The significance of biologics is ever-growing as its use in medical treatments, especially for medical conditions that do not have any other readily available treatments continue to increase.

How are biologics different from more conventional drugs?

Unlike most drugs, which are chemically manufactured, most biologics are synthesised through complex combinations of mixtures that are difficult to identify or classify.

Biologics, especially biotechnology products, are heat-sensitive and prone to microbial contamination. So, unlike most conventional medicines, aseptic principles must be used from the beginning of manufacture.

What are the medical and clinical applications of biologics?

Biologics are some of the most advanced methods of treatment that has been developed. They are widely used to treat a variety of conditions and illnesses. These include their use in the treatment of autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Patients who previously would have had little hope for effective treatments now get to benefit from biologics, which have made a massive impact in the treatment of cancer, immune-related disorders as well as other rare conditions.

Examples of conditions and illnesses that use biologics as a method of treatment include:

  • Cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attack
  • Allergic asthma
  • Chronic migraine
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Systemic lupus erythematous
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Pneumonia
  • Anaemia
  • Haemophilia
  • Hepatitis B
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Chronic idiopathic urticaria
  • Infertility

What are the side effects of biologics?

The side effects of biologics typically vary depending on the type of substance used.

Some common side effects include:

  • Reactions to injections. Skin responses to an injection are possible, especially when first starting a treatment. A person may experience itching, pain, redness or swelling. These symptoms should fade on their own. However, if the symptoms persist for more than 5 days, inform your doctor.
  • Nausea. Biologics may cause nausea
  • Headaches. People who use biologics may experience headaches.
  • Infections. Biologics increase the risk of developing an infection as they may suppress the immune system. The use of biologics may lead to a cold, sinus infection or bronchitis.
  • Fatigue. Biologics usually assist in treating the fatigue that accompanies autoimmune disorders. However, in certain cases, the fatigue may continue to persist or even worsen after discontinuing the treatment.

How can the side effects be managed?

There are several ways to manage or prevent the adverse effects of biologics.

The practice of good hygiene can help prevent infections, especially if you have a weaker immune system. Wash your hands frequently, avoid crowded areas, and distance yourself from people who are sick to reduce the risk of developing an infection.

To help ease the pain and discomfort caused by a mild reaction to an injection, you can use a cold compress, antihistamine prescription, s or acetaminophen.

If you get nauseous, you could use certain medications can that assist help with nausea. Alternatively, you could try drinking ginger tea, sipping cool water or inhaling the aroma of peppermint.

Headaches can be relieved by placing a cold compress on your forehead for 10–20 minutes. A warm shower may also help

Consult a doctor if you experience severe symptoms.


Daniel Donn