Treatment of Crohn's disease

Treatment of Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition, which cannot be cured. The severity of Crohn’s disease varies between people. To treat your Crohn’s disease in the best possible way, your doctor will need to determine how severe your symptoms are.

Treatments exist that can relieve symptoms, reduce inflammation, and thus reduce the need for hospitalisation and surgery. Your doctor will work with you to decide which treatments are most suitable for you.

Depending on the severity of your Crohn’s disease, your doctor may recommend a single or combination treatment option including anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, antibiotics or biologics.

When treating mild to moderate inflammation, doctors often prescribe the class of anti‐inflammatory drugs known as aminosalicylates. These drugs can help ease symptoms, induce and maintain remission and prevent flares. Corticosteroids are also used to treat flares and to relieve abdominal pain and tenderness.

Immunosuppressants are generally prescribed when anti-inflammatory drugs have failed and a person demonstrates signs of moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. Antibiotics are generally used to treat active flares and to prevent and fight infections. Some broad-spectrum antibiotics such as metronidazole and ciprofloxacin are used to treat any underlying infection.

Another treatment option is biologics, which work by targeting specific biological proteins involved in chronic inflammation. In Crohn’s disease, biologics such as the antibodies against tumour necrosis factor (TNF-α) work by helping to reduce the excess TNF-α levels produced during the inflammation process.

For some people with chronic, severe inflammation, surgery may be necessary. Surgery is only considered after consultation with a doctor and a surgeon. Although surgery is not a cure it may relieve or correct complications that may occur.

If you have any further questions about your treatment options, please contact your doctor.