Medicines usually are the treatment of choice for Crohn's disease. They can control or prevent inflammation in the intestines and help to:
- Relieve symptoms.
- Promote healing of damaged tissues.
- Put the disease into remission and keep it from flaring up again.
- Postpone the need for surgery.
The choice of medicine usually depends on how severe the disease it, what part of the intestine is affected, and whether complications are present. Medicines for Crohn's disease include:
- Reference Aminosalicylates (such as mesalamine or sulfasalazine). These medicines help manage symptoms.
- Reference Antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin or metronidazole). These may be tried if aminosalicylates aren't helping. They are also used to treat Reference fistulas Opens New Window and abscesses.
- Reference Corticosteroids (such as budesonide or prednisone). These may be given for a few weeks or months to control swelling. These steroid medicines usually stop symptoms and put the disease in remission. But they are not used as long-term treatment to keep symptoms from coming back.
- Reference Medicines that suppress the immune system (such as azathioprine and methotrexate). You may take these if the medicines listed above don't work, if your symptoms come back when you stop taking steroid medicines, or if your symptoms come back often, even with treatment.
- Reference Biologics (such as infliximab or adalimumab). Your doctor may have you try these medicines if other medicines for Crohn's disease haven't worked for you. In some cases, biologics are tried before some of the other medicines listed above. They are also used to treat fistulas.
- Reference Cyclosporine and intravenous (IV) corticosteroids, which may be needed for severe cases.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 25, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology