What are the treatments for ulcerative colitis?
A variety of medicines are available to treat ulcerative colitis (UC).
Types of treatment1
- Aminosalicylates (contain 5-aminosalicylic acid or 5-ASA) are some of the first-line medications for UC.2 It is thought that they work to decrease the inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract lining. They are effective in treating mild to moderate UC flares, and they are useful as a maintenance treatment to prevent disease relapses.2 Learn more about DELZICOL and how this 5-ASA can help control the symptoms of mild-to-moderate UC.
- Corticosteroids suppress the immune system and are used to treat moderate to severe active UC. Your doctor may choose to add a steroid to your treatment during flare-ups. These drugs have long-term side effects, and therefore should not be used as a maintenance medication.1
- Immunomodulators suppress the immune system's ability to activate long-term inflammation. These medicines are generally reserved for people who do not experience relief with aminosalicylates or steroids.
- Antibiotics may be used when infections occur (such as abscesses).3
- Biologic therapies are the newest class of agents for moderate to severe UC. These treatments are administered by injection or infusion. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a chemical produced by our bodies that causes inflammation. Some biologic therapies are considered "anti-TNF" agents because they block TNF-alpha, helping to reduce inflammation.4
- Surgery is an option for people with severe UC and for those who have not reached remission and relief after trying multiple medications.
While there are effective treatments for UC, they cannot cure it. They can help control the symptoms, but you may still experience flares from time to time.1
That doesn't mean you can't have a fulfilling life with UC. By taking your medication as indicated, and learning other ways to manage your UC, the goal is to help control your symptoms and help manage your condition.