Ulcerative Colitis Treatment Medications
Treatments for ulcerative colitis includes both medications and surgery;
however, there is no medication that can cure ulcerative colitis. Medications
that treat ulcerative colitis are
- anti-inflammatory agents, for example, 5-ASA compounds like sulfasalazine
(Azulfidine), and olsalazine (Dipentum), and topical and systemic
- immunomodulators, for example, 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), azathioprine (Imuran), methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral).
Treatment of ulcerative colitis with medications is similar, though not always identical, to treatment of Crohn's disease.
Quick GuideUlcerative Colitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of
the large intestine (colon) and the rectum and sores (ulcers) on the inner
lining of the large intestine.
Ulcerative colitis is thought to be an autoimmune disease, that is, one where
the body attacks itself. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is
not the same as Crohn's disease, another type of IBD, which can affect any part
of the gastrointestinal tract whereas ulcerative colitis only affects the colon
and rectum. It is also not the same as
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which
affects how the colon functions and does not cause inflammation.
Ulcerative colitis is estimated to affect nearly 600,000 Americans, and it
affects males slightly more often than females. The disease is most commonly
diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40.
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include
What causes ulcerative colitis?
The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown but it is believed to be caused by
a combination of several factors including an overactive immune system,
genetics, and the environment.
- Overactive immune system: It is believed that in ulcerative colitis, the
immune system is triggered to mistakenly attack the inner lining of the large
intestine, causing inflammation and symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
- Genetics: Ulcerative colitis
can run in families. The genetic link is not entirely clear but studies show
that up to 20% of people with ulcerative colitis have a close family member with the disease.
- Environment: Certain environmental factors including taking certain medications
(nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, antibiotics, and oral
contraceptives), and eating a high fat diet may slightly increase the risk of
developing ulcerative colitis.
Physical or emotional stress, and certain foods do not cause ulcerative
colitis, however, they may trigger symptoms in a person who has ulcerative
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/6/2016