What are the treatment options for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Jan 04, 2019
  • Author: David A Piccoli, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Therapy for IBD includes pharmacotherapy, surgery (see below), nutrition and bone health (see below), supportive therapy, psychotherapy, and cancer screening. [15] (See Crohn Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.)

Medications used to treat IBD can be classified into 6 categories, as follows:

  • Aminosalicylates (eg, sulfasalazine and mesalamine) [16, 17]

  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone and budesonide) [18]

  • Immunomodulators (eg, azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine [6-MP]) [19]

  • Antibiotics (eg, metronidazole and ciprofloxacin) [20]

  • Probiotics (eg, Lactobacillus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii) [21]

  • Biologic agents (eg, infliximab) [22, 23]

Children with mild manifestations can be treated as outpatients, with arrangements made for follow-up treatment with a gastroenterologist.

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