After a diagnosis, you and your doctor will have to start talking about medication that is best for you. There are five types of medication used to treat Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis:
Aminosalicylates are often the first step, along with antibiotics. They are used to treat mild inflammation with the help of other medications. Asacol and Pentasa are two popular aminosalicylates. These are usually in the form of a pill or a suppository.
The two most common antibiotics used are Flagyl and Cipro. These can be used long term but usually not by themselves. They are also extremely helpful in people with Crohn’s with fistulas and abscesses which can often lead to infection.
Corticosteroids also known as just steroids. They are mostly used to get a flare under control long enough to find a more long term medication. Prednisone is a common one given orally. There is also Entocort, which is known to have less side effects due to the way it gets metabolized quicker.
Immunomodulators are used typically after other methods have been tried or if it is so severe that a doctor believes that the others would not have worked anyway. The common Immunomodulators are Imuran and 6-MP which are taken orally. Methotrexate is an injection which may works for those who did not do well with the oral medication.
Lastly, Biologics, which all come in the form of infusion or injection, are used as last resorts for the disease. They’re the final defense. There are many different types of biologics and more coming out. There is Remicade, Humira, Cimzia, and a newer on known as Entyvio.
Now these are just briefs explanations of what I know. The best way to learn more is by talking to your doctor, or ask people in a support group which may be able to tell you what worked best for them and help you feel more comfortable with whatever the final decision is.
It can also help to go to CCFA (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America) and look at their information regarding the different types of medication, how they work, and whether or not the risks out weigh the benefits depending on the drug.
Of course it is important to remember that these medications take time to work, and they are not miracle drugs that will cure you, but they have the chance of putting you into remission and help you live the life you want to live. Good luck!