Medicines usually are the treatment of
Crohn's disease. They can control or prevent
inflammation in the intestines and help to:
of damaged tissues.
Put the disease into
remission and keep it from flaring up
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:
Aminosalicylates (such as mesalamine or sulfasalazine). These medicines help manage symptoms.
Antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin or metronidazole). These may be tried if aminosalicylates aren't helping. They are also used to treat fistulas and abscesses.
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.
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
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.
Cyclosporine and intravenous (IV) corticosteroids, which may
be needed for severe cases.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 16, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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