Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis Flare Up | UCERIS (budesonide) Extended Release Tablets
Since that time, these powerful and fast-acting anti-inflammatory drugs have been the mainstay of treatment for acute flare-ups of disease. Most patients notice an improvement in symptoms within days of starting corticosteroids.
In addition to their anti-inflammatory action, corticosteroids also are immunosuppressive. That means they decrease the activity of the immune system, which experts believe may be out of control in people with IBD. As a result, they may make certain individuals more susceptible to catching infections. Corticosteroids closely resemble cortisol, a hormone naturally produced by the body's adrenal glands. This group of medications is available in oral, rectal, and intravenous IV forms.
When people take corticosteroids, their adrenal glands stop producing or slow down the production of normal cortisol.
In general, corticosteroids are recommended only for short-term use in order to achieve remission. As valuable as they are in acute situations, corticosteroids are not effective in preventing flare-ups and therefore are rarely used for maintenance therapy in IBD.
In addition, long-term use is not advised because of undesirable side effects. For that reason, corticosteroids are usually given in the lowest possible dosage for the shortest amount of time. Frequent short-duration use, however, is not recommended. In people with moderate to severe active disease, corticosteroids in pill form are usually effective.
The drugs may be used alone or together with aminosalicylate 5-ASA drugs to reduce acute inflammation. Representing a new class of corticosteroids called nonsystemic steroids, it targets the intestine rather than the whole body.
Side effects include headache, respiratory infection, and nausea, among other corticosteroid-associated side effects. For people who do not respond to oral forms of the drugs, it may be necessary to administer corticosteroids through other routes. The undesirable side effects of corticosteroids are dependent on both dose and duration of treatment.
For many, the side effects of steroids outweigh their anti-inflammatory benefits. Some of the most common ones include the following:. Because of these side effects, doctors frequently choose safer medications, such as the 5-ASA drugs and antibiotics, as initial therapy. But there are a number of ways to reduce the risk of developing side effects. These include rapid but careful tapering off of steroids; alternate-day dosing; rectally applied corticosteroids; and rapidly metabolized corticosteroids such as budesonide described above.
To help prevent osteoporosis, many doctors routinely prescribe calcium supplements as well as multivitamins that contain vitamin D. These compounds, which have been shown to help avert bone loss, are effective in treating and preventing steroid-induced osteoporosis. People taking several different medicines, whether prescription or over-the-counter, should always be on the lookout for interactions between drugs.
Drug interactions may decrease a medication's effectiveness, intensify the action of a drug, or cause unexpected side effects. Before taking any medication, read the label carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the drugs you're taking even over-the-counter medications or complementary therapies and any other medical condition you may have. We encourage you to review this educational material with your health care professional.
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