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What are the medications for ulcerative colitis?

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Your doctor may suggest several types of medicines to curb inflammation in your bowel, including sulfa drugs, corticosteroids, immunosuppressive agents, and antibiotics.

5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA). Balsalazide, mesalamine,  olsalazine, and sulfasalazine are the main medications used to treat ulcerative colitis. They come in pills and suppositories. Tell your doctor if you're allergic to sulfa before taking one of these drugs. He can prescribe a sulfa-free 5-ASA.

Corticosteroids. These anti-inflammatory drugs can be used if 5-ASA drugs don't work for you or if you have more severe disease. These medicines sometimes have side effects and long-term complications, so doctors often suggest them for short periods of time to help you get in remission. Your doctor may then prescribe you a 5-ASA medication to keep your symptoms away for a longer period.

Immunosuppressants. If corticosteroids or 5-ASA drugs don't help, your doctor may prescribe these kinds of drugs, such as 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran), cyclosporine, and tacrolimus (Astagraf XL, Envarsus XR, Prograf).

Biologics and others. This group of drugs includes adalimumab (Humira), adalimumab-atto (Amjevita) and adalimumab-adbm (Cyltezo), biosimilars to Humira, certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), golimumab (Simponi, Simponi Aria), infliximab (Remicade), infliximab-abda (Renflexis), infliximab-dyyb (Inflectra), a biosimilar to Remicade, tofacitinib (Xeljanz), and vedolizumab (Entyvio).

From: Ulcerative Colitis Treatment WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America: "What are Crohn's & Colitis?" "Surgery for Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis."

FDA: "FDA approves Inflectra, a biosimilar to Remicade." “FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 4, 2018

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America: "What are Crohn's & Colitis?" "Surgery for Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis."

FDA: "FDA approves Inflectra, a biosimilar to Remicade." “FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 4, 2018

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