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Ulcerative Colitis - Medications

Medicines usually are the main treatment for ulcerative colitis. They 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 or prevent the need for surgery.

Medicine choices

The choice of medicine usually depends on how bad the disease is, the part of the colon affected, and any complications you may have.

  • Treatment of mild to moderate disease often begins with aminosalicylates. They relieve inflammation in the intestines and help the disease go into remission. They may also keep the disease from becoming active again.
  • Steroid medicines may be added if symptoms continue. They relieve inflammation in the intestines.
  • For severe cases, you may have stronger treatment with one or more of these:

If you're pregnant or breast-feeding

If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about which medicines might be okay for you to use. Sometimes severe ulcerative colitis can harm your baby more than the medicines you take to keep it under control. Some medicines, though, should never be taken when you are pregnant. Your doctor can tell you which medicines are okay while you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 08, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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