The choice of medication depends upon whether we want to treat a sudden flare-up or maintain a remission (prevent flare-ups) and prevent organ damage (intestines).
There is a range of medical therapies available, all with the common goal – to reduce inflammation. With these medications, we can successfully alleviate and control typical symptoms of the disease. In case of suspected bacterial infection or when in pain, antibiotics or analgetics can be used.
Anti-inflammatory medications (corticosteroids). Most patients with Crohn’s disease receive anti-inflammatory drugs during flare-ups.
Immunomodulators. This class of medications modifies the activity of the immune system so that it cannot cause ongoing inflammation.
Biological therapies. Biological medicines have been in use for more than 100 years. Also, insulin and vaccines are biologic therapies. They are called biologics because, unlike chemical medications, they are made from human or animal proteins. Over more than a decade, new biologics have been successfully used for the treatment of immune-related diseases. Biologics works by targeting pro-inflammatory mediators in the gastrointestinal tract and thus reduce inflammation. Due to their high efficacy they induce and maintain remission. There are several biologic therapies available for treatment of Crohn’s disease. The patients receive biologics in the form of subcutaneous injections or infusions, at home or in the hospital setting, depending on the type of the biologic therapy. Before introducing treatment with biologic therapy, certain diseases must be excluded, especially some infections, and certain laboratory indicators must be checked.
Antibiotics. They help treat abscesses and reduce secretion from fistulas. They are also prescribed in case of severe infections.
Dietary supplements. Dietary supplements are often required in patients with general malnutrition and/or mineral, vitamin and other vital nutrient deficiencies.