Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ulcerative Colitis Treatment

The primary goal in the treatment of ulcerative colitis is to reduce inflammation in the intestine, the underlying cause for symptoms. Treatment for ulcerative colitis often includes medications that reduce inflammation and diarrhea, and antibiotics. Your doctor may try a number of these medications until he or she finds the medication combination that works best for you. Treatment for severe ulcerative colitis may include surgery to remove the colon.

Treatment options for ulcerative colitis include:

Ulcerative Colitis Drugs

Salicylate Anti-inflammatory Medications
Initial drug therapy for ulcerative colitis usually includes aminosalicylate medications. These drugs reduce inflammation in the colon.

Salicylate anti-inflammatory medications used to treat ulcerative colitis include:

Corticosteroid medications have been used successfully to prevent episodes of ulcerative colitis. However, long-term therapy with corticosteroids increases the risk of side effects.

Corticosteroid medications used to treat ulcerative colitis include:

Immunomodulator Drugs
Immunomodulator drugs suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation in those with ulcerative colitis.

Immunomodulator drugs used to treat ulcerative colitis include:

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Inhibitors
Tumor necrosis factor stimulates inflammation. Drugs that inhibit tumor necrosis factor (TNF) may help control the inflammation of ulcerative colitis.

Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors used for the treatment of ulcerative colitis include:

Antidiarrheal Agents
Antidiarrheal agents may be used to help control diarrhea. These medications require careful monitoring because they may trigger toxic megacolon, a potentially fatal complication.

Antidiarrheal agents used to treat ulcerative colitis include:

Antiemetic Agents
Antiemetics may be used for severe nausea or vomiting.

Medications for nausea and vomiting in those with ulcerative colitis include:

Episodes of ulcerative colitis may be triggered by bacterial infections.

Antibiotics used to treat ulcerative colitis include:

Ulcerative Colitis Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for worsening ulcerative colitis symptoms?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat ulcerative colitis:

Continue to Ulcerative Colitis Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 8, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ulcerative Colitis References
  1. Hanauer SB. Review article: the long-term management of ulcerative colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Oct;20 Suppl 4:97-101. [15352903]
  2. Loftus EV Jr, Kane SV, Bjorkman D. Systematic review: short-term adverse effects of 5-aminosalicylic acid agents in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Jan 15;19(2):179-89. [14723609]
  3. Rizzello F, Gionchetti P, Venturi A, Campieri M. Review article: medical treatment of severe ulcerative colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Jun;17 Suppl 2:7-10. [12786606]
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