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Ulcerative colitis: medicines for every phase of the disease

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic intestinal disease, which so far has been considered as not curable. However, there are medication for ulcerative colitis that can keep the disease under control. The disease can be of varying severity and also occurs in relapses: phases alternate with active symptoms and phases in which the disease rests (remission). Most patients with ulcerative colitis must continually take medication.

Medication for ulcerative colitis: acute relapse

Ulcerative colitis leads to inflammation of the large intestine, affecting the upper layer of the intestinal mucosa. During acute relapse, the drugs aim to treat inflammation and to reduce it as quickly as possible. Because these mostly cause painful and bloody diarrhea as well as constant stool urge.

The following medication for ulcerative colitis is usually used during acute complaints:


Medications containing the active ingredient mesalazine can help with a moderate relapse. They are administered in the form of tablets, suppositories, enemas or foams. The latter can be used if the inflammation is in the rectum.


of these so-called cortisone preparations, doctors usually prescribe drugs with the active ingredient prednisolone for ulcerative colitis. The preparation can be administered orally as well as intravenously. Its task is to suppress the immune system. Due to its strong effect, it is only used in acute cases.


this active ingredient alters the immune system and can be given in addition to cortisone preparations if these do not help sufficiently. It is also recommended for severe cases.

TNF-α Antibodies:

TNF stands for tumor necrosis factor. The TNF-α antibodies interfere with the immune system by blocking the inflammatory substance TNF. In ulcerative colitis, the drugs Adalimumab and Infliximab are used. Since they can cause severe side effects, their benefits must always be balanced.

If the symptoms during a relapse are very severe, stationary treatment may be necessary. Among other things, because patients quickly lose a lot of fluid due to the typical symptom of ulcerative colitis, namely severe diarrhoea.

Medication during the remission phase

Although there are often no symptoms during the remission phase, drug treatment is usually necessary.
The so-called maintenance therapy serves the purpose of preserving the symptom-free condition for as long as possible
and preventing new inflammations.

The active ingredient mesalazine is also used for this purpose. In addition, drugs with the natural intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli strain Nissle 1917 can help to keep the condition stable in ulcerative colitis.

Besides medication: Further Colitis ulcerosa therapy

People suffering from ulcerative colitis often have to take permanent medication. If the symptom-free remission phase lasts a long time and the disease is generally mild, the amount of medication can be reduced. The doctor and patient always develop the exact therapy plan together.

Besides the drugs, further measures can help to prevent new relapses in ulcerative colitis. These include primarily a balanced diet. It helps to keep the intestinal flora as stable as possible. In addition, intestinal diseases are often associated with the risk of an undersupply of vitamins and other minerals. Food supplements can also help to replenish certain deficiencies. Also probiotic food supplements can in some cases help to improve the general condition.

Colitis ulcerosa: Welche Ernährung ist die richtige?

Late effects of ulcerative colitis

If, in the opposite case, the disease is severe, or if at some point frequent relapses have lastingly damaged the intestinal mucosa, there may be complications. These can be, for example, constrictions of the colon, which can result in severe constipation. In addition, in some patients with ulcerative colitis, the drugs do not work sufficiently, or the symptoms cannot be completely contained for other reasons.

In some cases a surgery may be the best solution. It can remove sections of the intestine or even the entire colon. Since the inflammation of ulcerative colitis occurs exclusively in the large intestine, it is possible to stop the disease permanently. However, a partial or even complete removal of the colon is a serious intervention that must be well considered.

Colitis ulcerosa: supporting and strengthening the intestine

Your intestinal flora consists of numerous microorganisms. In total, a human intestinal microbiome weighs about two kilograms. You should take good care of this sensitive ecosystem. If you already have problems with your intestines, you can strengthen your intestinal flora and thus improve your general well-being.

Decisive for the right measures, however, is that you know the current state of your intestinal flora . With an intestinal flora analysis, you will find out how your intestinal balance is. BIOMES offers with INTEST.pro a private stool test: You order a test kit, discreetly take a stool sample at home, send it in and after a short time you receive a detailed analysis and evaluation of your intestinal bacteria. So that you know what you can do with the results, we will give you concrete recommendations for action. In this way you will get to know your bowel anew and can do something good for it.

More information about INTEST.pro The BIOMES intestinal test

How do we analyse your intestinal flora? What exactly does the test include? Where can you buy INTEST.pro?
And how do we protect your data?

Dr. Paul Hammer
CEO & Founder
Dr Paul Hammer is the founder and CEO of BIOMES NGS GmbH. Paul received his PhD in systems biology and bioinformatics in 2012.
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