What are the therapy options for mild Crohn disease?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Leyla J Ghazi, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Therapy for mild Crohn disease is typically administered in a sequential “step-up” approach, in which less aggressive and less toxic treatments are initiated first, followed by more potent medications or procedures if the initial therapy fails. Patients are treated with preparations of 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), antibiotics, and nutritional therapy. However, the use of 5-ASA for the treatment of Crohn disease is controversial; only a small subset of patients may benefit from this agent. Although 5-ASA is effective for reducing disease activity in active Crohn disease, it typically has a lower efficacy for Crohn disease than for ulcerative colitis, and its efficacy for maintenance of remission remains unproven. [12]

If no response occurs or if the disease is more severe than initially thought, corticosteroids and inhibitors of DNA synthesis (ie, immunomodulators) with 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP)/azathioprine or methotrexate are administered. Finally, biologic agents (infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, and natalizumab) and surgical therapies can be useful.

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