What're the medications for inflammatory bowel disease?
Treating IBD with drugs is complicated and might require several "trial runs." It is very important to keep track of how well the drugs are working, what side effects you are having, and report all details to your health care provider. Several medications may be helpful in controlling arthritis and IBD. Sulfasalazine is a very useful sulfa drug. The other medications fall into certain
groups of drugs: corticosteroids, immunosuppressives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Most people who have mild to moderate disease are first treated with drugs called aminosalicylates. These medications are aspirin-like medications such as 5-ASA agents (a combination of the drugs sulfonamide, sulfapyridine, and salicylate). They can be given either orally or rectally to help control inflammation. Side effects can include heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. These drugs include mesalamine and sulfazalazine, which have fewer side effects and can relieve symptoms in more than 80 percent of people with UC in the lower colon and rectum. A newer drug form of mesalamine called Colazal is reported to have even fewer side effects.
Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) helps to control both the bowel disease and the symptoms of arthritis. It is usually started at a low dose to lessen possible side effects and then increased if needed. The most common side effects are nausea and headaches. The nausea may be controlled by taking the drug with food, or by using the enteric-coated form of the drug. (This form is specially designed to dissolve in the bowel, not in the stomach.) Sulfasalazine can usually be taken safely for a long time. Some people, however, develop an allergy to sulfasalazine in the form of a rash and fever. Giving the drug in frequent very small doses may enable the person to tolerate the drug without producing a rash or other reaction. When sulfasalazine cannot be taken due to side effects or allergy, olsalazine (Dipentum) or mesalamine (Asacol) may be taken, but these drugs have not been shown to be effective against arthritis.
Corticosteroids are similar to cortisone, a hormone produced by the body. They are strong, anti-inflammatory drugs, which can help both the symptoms of the bowel and the joints. They are used only when the symptoms are severe, because they may produce serious side effects when taken for a long time. These side effects include thinning of bones (osteoporosis), cataracts, reduced resistance to infection, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Be sure to discuss the possible side effects with your doctor before taking corticosteroids. Most of the side effects decrease and eventually go away as the dosage is reduced and stopped. Once you begin taking these drugs, however, never stop or change the dosage on your own.
Immunosuppressives, such as azathioprine (Imuran) are used on occasion for arthritis and Crohn's disease. By suppressing the immune system, they reduce inflammation. The most common side effect of these medications is a decrease in white blood cells, which can cause an increased risk of infections. Other side effects of these medications may include fever, rash, vomiting, hair loss, and liver toxicity. Immunosuppressives, therefore, are used with caution.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are helpful in controlling the pain, swelling, and stiffness of inflamed joints. To work effectively, they must be taken every day during the arthritis episode. NSAIDs may produce nausea, indigestion, and heart burn. In addition, they may cause bleeding from the stomach and make the underlying bowel disease worse, so they are used with caution in IBD. These side effects can usually be decreased if the drug is taken with food, fluid, or an antacid.
More information on inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease)
What are the inflammatory bowel diseases? - Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disorder that causes an inflamed and swollen digestive tract or intestinal wall.
What causes inflammatory bowel diseases? - The cause of inflammatory bowel disease is not known. Chronic inflammation present in the intestines of persons with both forms of IBD damages the bowel.
What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases? - Symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases can include chronic diarrhea, abdominal cramps or pain, fever, and blood or mucus in the stool.
How is inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed? - To make a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease, a doctor must first exclude other possible causes of inflammation.
What're the treatments for inflammatory bowel disease? - Inflammatory bowel disease is treated with medication, exercise, and sometimes, surgery. Treatments for IBD are directed against the inflammation in the bowel.
What're the medications for inflammatory bowel disease? - Medications for inflammatory bowel disease include sulfasalazine, corticosteroids, immunosuppressives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
What is Crohn's disease? - Crohn's Disease is a chronic illness that causes irritation in the digestive tract. Crohn's disease occurs in the last portion of intestine (ileum).
What types of Crohn's disease are there? - There are five subtypes of Crohn's disease, distinguished by the gastrointestinal area in which the disease occurs.
What causes Crohn's disease? - The cause of Crohn's disease is unknown. There is now evidence of a genetic link as Crohn's frequently shows up in a family group.
What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease? - The symptoms of Crohn's disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss.
What are the complications of Crohn's disease? - Common complications of Crohn's disease include the development of an intestinal obstruction, pus-filled pockets of infection, and abnormal connecting channels.
How is Crohn's disease diagnosed? - The diagnosis of Crohn's disease is suspected in patients with fever, abdominal pain and tenderness, diarrhea with or without bleeding, and anal diseases.
What're the treatments for Crohn's disease? - Treatment for Crohn's disease is mainly symptomatic. Medications are very effective at improving the symptoms of Crohn's disease.
What medications cure Crohn's disease? - Medications for Crohn's disease sulfasalazine, Asacol, Pentasa and Dipentum. Mesalamine is useful both to achieve and maintain remission.
What's the surgery for Crohn's disease treatment? - Surgery to remove part of the intestine can help Crohn's disease but cannot cure it. The most used operation in Crohn disease is removing the diseased part of the intestine.
What Crohn's disease diet is suggested? - Diet may have to be restricted based on symptoms or complications of Crohn's disease. No particular food has ever been implicated in causing Crohn's disease.
Crohn's disease in children - Crohn's disease is most often diagnosed in young adulthood. Children facing Crohn's disease have significant self-image issues to deal with.
Crohn's disease and pregnancy women - Women with Crohn's disease who are considering having children can be comforted to know that the vast majority of such pregnancies will result in normal children.
What is ulcerative colitis? - Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease of the bowel, that usually affects the distal end of the large intestine and rectum.
What types of ulcerative colitis are there? - Doctors categorize ulcerative colitis by the amount of colon involved. Variability of symptoms reflects differences in the extent of disease and the intensity of inflammation.
What causes ulcerative colitis? - The cause of ulcerative colitis is not known, but heredity and an overactive immune response in the intestine may be contributing factors.
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis? - The symptoms vary according to the extent of the disease. The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea.
What are the complications of ulcerative colitis? - Bleeding, the most common complication of ulcerative colitis, often causes iron deficiency anemia.
How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed? - Diagnosis of ulcerative colitis is suspected based on the symptoms that a patient is experiencing. The most important method of diagnosis is endoscopy.
What are the treatments for ulcerative colitis? - Treatment of ulcerative colitis depends on the location and severity of a patient's disease, the presence of complications.
What ulcerative colitis medications are available? - Medications for ulcerative colitis include 5-ASA Compounds, anticholinergic drugs, steroids, and immunosuppressive drugs.
What surgery treats ulcerative colitis? - Surgery for ulcerative colitis involves removal of the entire colon, regardless of whether all or only a portion of the colon is diseased.
Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis - Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis are chronic diseases in which certain kinds of white blood cells infiltrate the lining of the large intestine.