Ulcerative colitis is treated with both surgery and medications, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.The type or combination of treatments differs from person to person and largely depends on the symptoms and the severity of the disease. Doctors make an effort to reduce their patients' symptoms as much as possible with surgery and medications.
Medications such as immunomodulators, aminosalicylates, biologics or anti-TNF therapies and corticosteroids are used to treat symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis. Other medical treats may include suppositories, rectal foams and aminosalicylates. Over-the-counter medications such as loperamide, acetaminophen, aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen may also be used to treat minor symptoms temporarily.
Some of the primary medications used to treat ulcerative colitis can cause a wide range of side effects. Immunomodulators may cause infections, fatigue, vomiting, nausea and pancreatitis. Corticosteroids can cause a person to havemoods swings, develop acne and experience bone mass loss.
If a person with ulcerative colitis also suffers from colon cancer or is experiencing other life threatening complications during treatment, it may become necessary to perform surgery on the patient. In severe cases, it is often required to extract a person's colon to prevent theillness from becoming more severe.