Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to control your ulcerative colitis symptoms and improve your quality of life. Medication won't cure ulcerative colitis. But it can help keep the disease from slowing you down. As always, work closely with your doctor. Your medication or dosage may need to be changed if you have certain side effects or if your symptoms change.
Special anti-inflammatories treat the lining of the intestine. These medications can reduce inflammation and discomfort. But they're not like aspirin or other over-the-counter medications. They must be prescribed by a doctor. The most common anti-inflammatories for ulcerative colitis are called 5-ASA compounds. They can help control symptoms over long periods of time. 5-ASA compounds may be taken as pills. But they also can be taken as an enema or suppository (the medicine is put directly into the rectum).
Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. Unlike 5-ASA compounds, corticosteroids are usually taken for short periods only. They shouldn't be taken in remission (a long period without severe symptoms).
Immunosuppressives treat the part of your body that fights disease (the immune system). By treating the immune system, inflammation may be reduced. Immunosuppressives can be taken for long periods. But you may need to see your doctor more often than usual for monitoring.
Antibiotics fight the bacteria that can lead to infections in some cases of ulcerative colitis. Some patients may get sores in the digestive tract. These sores then drain into other parts of the body. This can lead to an infection. In some cases, antibiotics also help reduce inflammation.
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