Ulcerative Colitis Treatment Drugs – Coping with Ulcerative Colon Inflammation Conditions
Like with all problems of the digestive system, a patient that needs to follow a colitis treatment must keep in mind a set of indications that combine medication, proper diet and, sometimes, changes in lifestyle.
The inflammation can be controlled by using a range of drugs. However, some drugs work better in some people, while in others the effects are slow and unsatisfactory. When choosing a colitis treatment, you should always take into account the possible pros and the cons that come from side effects, which are always a potential risk.
One of the first things that a patient should consider is an anti-inflammatory colitis treatment
The range of drugs for this condition includes:
- Sulfasalazine – while quite efficient in ulcerative colitis, this drug has some possible side effects, like heartburn, headache, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Also, there are some restrictions in persons with allergies towards sulfa treatments;
- Olsalazine, mesalamine and balsalazine – these can be found both as oral and topical, and your doctor might prescribe you a combination of the two forms. These substances are quite well tolerated by the human body and seem to have less invasive side effects. Nine out of ten patients who take mesalamine will feel relevant relieve.
- Corticosteroids – this line of colitis treatment drugs can have a lot of side effects, some of which are quite serious – mood swings, gaining weight, increased blood pressure, type two diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma, osteoporosis, and higher sensibility towards possible infections. Usually, doctors prescribe medication from this range only in severe cases where other types of treatments have failed. Moreover, long use is not indicated.
Another line of drugs for colitis treatment is the one of immune system suppressors. Rather than treating the inflammation, these drugs are used for influencing your immune system. Here are the most common sets of drugs from this range:
- Azathioprine and mercaptopurine – they can need more than three months to start working. This medication, aside other side effects, can also encourage cancer development. Of course, the chances are not that high, as these substances are legal and within the official risk boundaries.
- Cyclosporine – this drug is very strong and is used where other treatments have failed. It kicks in pretty quick, in up to 15 days, but the side effects can be severe to fatal, so you must ask your doctor about it.
- Infliximab – this one is also used for moderate and severe cases and it works quickly. It is efficient, as it can sometimes prevent chirurgical intervention. However, people who have suffered heart failure, sclerosis, or have a cancer history cannot use it. You must take a set of tests to see if infliximab can be dangerous to you. It can have serious side effects, like increasing risks of infection, blood conditions and cancer.
Other drugs that may be prescribed include antibiotics, painkillers, antidiarrheals and iron supplements. If different sets of treatments do not work, ulcerative colitis may require surgery, which often eliminates the condition.
Unfortunately, this usually means a removal of parts of your colon or even the entire organ, so patients should always try several colitis treatment schemes before turning to surgery.