Our goals in treating inflammatory bowel disease are suppressing inflammation, healing tissue and relieving the symptoms of IBD. We commonly use the following medications:
5-ASA medications have been used extensively in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. They work locally to decrease inflammation in the bowel. Aminosalicylates are available in both oral and topical form (i.e. applied locally) and have been effective in inducing and maintaining disease remission. Commonly used 5-ASA medications include Mesalamine (Asacol, Pentasa, Rowasa), Sulfasalzaine (Azulfidine), and Balsalazde (Colazal) and Olsalazine (Dipentum).
Corticosteroids (prednisone) are most commonly prescribed for individuals with moderately to severely active inflammatory bowel disease. Patients are treated with either topical forms (i.e. applied locally) or oral forms, or are given the steroid intravenously. Recently, rapidly metabolized synthetic steroids such as Budesonide (Entocort) began being used in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
Immunomodulators are often used for patients who have not responded to or who are intolerant to treatment with 5-ASA and steroid medication. These medications directly inhibit the immune system that triggers the intestinal damage of inflammatory bowel disease. Azathioprine (Imuran), 6-Mercaptopurine (6-MP), and Methotrexate are the commonly used immunomodulatory medications.
Certain antibiotics have been utilized in inflammatory bowel disease for treating intestinal inflammation, healing fistulas and treating infection. Metronidazole (Flagyl) and Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) are the most commonly used antibiotics.
Newer biologic agents such as Infliximab (Remicade) are used in the treatment of moderate to severely active Crohn’s disease that does not respond to conventional therapy. Infliximab has also been helpful in healing fistulae associated with Crohn’s disease. Biologics target certain substances in the immune system that contribute to the inflammation and symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
A probiotic is an organism that contributes to the health and balance of the intestinal tract. It is often referred to as the "beneficial" or "good" bacteria and, when ingested, it acts to maintain a healthy intestinal tract and help fight illness and disease.
Contact the Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease.