Q:

What is the standard treatment for Crohn's disease?

A:

Quick Answer

Anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics and alternate medications treat Crohn’s disease, states Mayo Clinic. Surgery also treats Crohn’s disease if no other treatment is effective.

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Full Answer

Oral 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that treat Crohn’s disease, explains Mayo Clinic. Oral 5-aminosalicylates treat Crohn’s disease that affects the colon, but is not effective for treating the small intestine. Side effects of oral 5-aminosalicylates include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and heartburn. Corticosteroids may reduce inflammation for some individuals with Crohn’s disease, and common side effects include night sweats, excessive facial hair, hyperactivity and insomnia. More adverse effects, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, cataracts and increased chance of infection, are also possible side effects.

Immune system suppressors such as azathioprine, infliximab, natalizumab, cyclosporine and ustekinumab reduce inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease, according to Mayo Clinic. Side effects include nausea, lowered resistance to infection, lymphoma, seizures, and kidney and liver damage. Antibiotics heal fistulas and reduce the amount of draining in individuals with Crohn’s disease. Side effects include numbness and muscle pain. Alternate medications such as anti-diarrheal, pain relievers and vitamins relieve the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Surgery repairs and reconnects damaged areas of the digestive tract, widens segments of the intestine, and closes fistulas.

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