At the time of relapse, the classical treatments are the aminosalicylates (5-ASA) and oral corticosteroids. If the relapse is particularly severe, intravenous steroids may be used or even anti-TNFα agents.
Long-term treatment to prevent relapses may also be necessary. The aim of treatment is to reduce the frequency of relapse, and to reduce their severity in order to prevent the lesions from progressing.
Immunomodulatory treatments such as azathioprine or methotrexate may be recommended. If these treatments are ineffective or cannot be tolerated, then treatment with anti-TNFα drugs may be considered.
SURGERY FOR CROHN'S DISEASE
Surgery may be necessary for Crohn's disease when drug treatment proves ineffective or when complications intervene, such as abdominal abscess. Sometimes segments of bowel may have to be removed, but it is best to preserve as much gut as possible.
Article produced under the supervision of Dr. Harry Sokol MD PhD. Gastroenterology and Nutrition Service, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris.
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Last updated: 3/25/19