A young woman who dealt with reoccurring Clostridioides difficile (CDI) in a short amount of time recounts her experience and how getting into a clinical trial made the difference in resolving her condition and getting her back to good health and her family.
Going into the holiday season in 2018, Patricia Alonso was looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Alonso lives in Woodbridge, Connecticut and is a mother of two young girls. She wanted to give her daughters an enjoyable holiday experience, but she fell ill with C diff.
When she was first suffering from the symptoms, but was not yet diagnosed with CDI, she says it was the scariest thing that had ever happened to her. She had never felt so sick before. She suffered stomach pain, diarrhea, and did not want to eat. She could not leave the house, and had to stay close to the bathroom.
“I was unable to work and function as a mom,” Alonso said.
After being diagnosed with CDI, Alonso went online to find out more about the condition. From her research, she found that it generally affected people with a weakened immune system or people who had recently take antibiotics. These factors did not apply to her.
She was initially prescribed an antibiotic and her symptoms resolved. However, a month later she had a reoccurrence and she was prescribed an additional antibiotic. The following month, Alonso had her second reoccurrence of C diff and third bout overall.
Sadly, she is not alone when dealing with recurrent CDI.
It’s been estimated that approximately 15% to 30% of C diff patients who initially respond to antibiotics experience reoccurrent Clostridioides difficile (rCDI).1 A second recurrence rate of 40% has been reported among patients with a resolved first recurrence.1 And unfortunately, a subset of these patients will experience additional recurrences and this can become a revolving door of healthcare interactions, diminished quality of life, and severe health consequences.
After her third bout of CDI within three months, Alonso’s primary care provider referred her to a gastroenterologist. During her clinical evaluation, she was offered the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial for Ferring’s microbiota therapy, RBX2660 (Rebyota). At that time, RBX2660 was an investigational treatment. It was FDA approved at the end of November last year, and it is the first-ever fecal microbiota indicated for C diff recurrence in individuals 18 years of age and older, following antibiotic treatment for recurrent C diff infection.
Alonso explains she was not worried about participating in the trial because the alternative was scarier. She was also not concerned as the gastroenterologist addressed all her concerns.
For Alonso, her treatment required just 1 dose, and she was even able to drive herself home afterwards. Since her clinical trial treatment, Alonso has not had a recurrence, and she is grateful.
Contagion spoke with Alonso who offered insights on her treatment and her perspective dealing with rCDI.
1. Song JH, Kim YS. Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection: Risk Factors, Treatment, and Prevention. Gut Liver. 2019;13(1):16-24. doi:10.5009/gnl18071