3 Main Goals of Crohn’s Treatment

1

Achieve remission
(no symptoms)

2

Maintain remission
(prevent symptom flare-ups)

3

Control inflammation

Making sure that you and your doctor are setting clear treatment goals is key to helping you get your Crohn’s controlled. Keep in mind that there’s no standard treatment that will work for all patients. Every person with Crohn’s has a different situation, and their treatment should be followed for their unique circumstances.

Individual factors that help you and your doctor determine a treatment approach include:

Disease severity

Location of the disease
 in your body

Past responses
to medication

Side effects of medication

Comorbidities
(other diseases or medical
conditions you have)

Disease severity

Location of the disease
 in your body

Past responses
to medication

Side effects of medication

Comorbidities
(other diseases or medical
conditions you have)

Partner With Your Doctor to Know the Severity of Your Crohn’s

It's important for you and your doctor to understand how severe your symptoms are. Beyond that, tests and procedures may be done to evaluate your disease activity and get an even better understanding of what’s really happening inside your body—and the inflammation that’s occurring—getting you to the treatment plan that’s right for you.

What Are the Prescription Medications for Crohn’s?

Medication for Crohn’s is designed to suppress your immune system’s abnormal inflammatory response—which is causing symptoms. When inflammation is suppressed, it offers relief from common symptoms (like fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain).

There are 5 main categories of medications used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—like Crohn’s.

Aminosalicylates (5-ASAs)

These drugs, given orally or rectally, are anti-inflammatory compounds that contain 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA). They decrease inflammation at the wall of the intestine and are used primarily to treat ulcerative colitis (UC) and may not be as effective when treating Crohn’s disease. Examples of 5-ASAs include sulfasalazine, balsalazide, mesalamine, and olsalazine.

Antibiotics
Biologic Therapies (Biologics)
Corticosteroids (Steroids)
Immune Modifiers (Immunomodulators)
Doctor discussing treatment options with a patient.

Looking for a treatment option?

Talk to your doctor and see if this treatment for moderate to severe Crohn’s disease could be right for you.

What Are Non-prescription Medications for Crohn’s?

Aside from controlling inflammation, there are over-the-counter or non-prescription medications that can help relieve symptoms. Remember to always talk to your doctor before taking any of these medications, but know that depending on your disease severity, your doctor might recommend one or more of these:

  • Antidiarrheals
  • Pain Relievers
  • Supplements, like: 
    • Iron
    • Vitamin B12
    • Calcium and Vitamin D

Gastroenterologist Dr. Millie Long Talks Treatment

Dr. Long discusses treatment options for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—like Crohn’s or UC—and the importance of setting treatment goals.

TRANSCRIPT

Dr. Long discusses treatment options for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—like Crohn’s or UC—and the importance of setting treatment goals.

When Is Surgery for Crohn’s Necessary?

Medication is often the first treatment option. But there are cases when people with Crohn’s might require surgery. Depending on the location of the disease in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and complications that occur, there are different types of surgery that could be needed.

Strictureplasty

When a stricture (a narrowed section of intestine due to chronic inflammation that causes the walls of the GI tract to thicken or form scar tissue) is present, it can lead to intestinal blockage. This surgical procedure repairs the stricture by widening the narrowed section without removing any part of the intestine.

Small and Large Bowel Resection
Proctocolectomy and Colectomy
Fistula Removal

Be a Proactive Patient and Partner With Your Doctor

First and foremost, know that you and your doctor have the power to find the right treatment plan for you. While dealing with Crohn’s can definitely be difficult at times, never give up hope. And when it comes to your treatment plan, always keep the conversations open and honest with your care team.

QUESTION FOR YOU

How long have you been diagnosed?

"I'm not diagnosed"

It’s still important to be open about symptoms you might be experiencing.

Partner with your doctor>

 

"Under a year"

Always stay positive and be proactive. Make sure you know the facts about your condition.

GET THE FACT SHEET>

"1 to 3 years"

Make the most out of every appointment with your specialist.

GET THE Doctor Discussion Guide>

"3 to 5 years"

Do you know how inflammation affects you inside the body—and impacts your symptoms?

See Inside Inflammation>

 

"Over 5 years"

Keep treatment conversations open with your specialist and have more productive visits.

Get The Doctor Discussion Guide>

 

QUESTION FOR YOU

How often do you experience symptoms?

“Daily”

Schedule an appointment with your specialist and make the visit even more productive.

GET THE Doctor Discussion Guide>

“Weekly”

Have an open conversation with your specialist. Make the most of your next visit.

GET THE Doctor Discussion Guide>

“Monthly”

Make sure that you’re telling your doctor everything they need to know to help you.

GET THE Doctor Discussion Guide>

“Rarely”

Did you know that inflammation can affect you—even if you don’t have symptoms?

SEE INSIDE INFLAMMATION>

Know the basics of Crohn’s or UC

See an overview of facts on Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)—all on one downloadable page.

Person sitting at a desk viewing inflammation inside the body on a laptop

Understand your inflammation

Explore and learn how inflammation affects you with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)—from inside the body.

Hand holding restroom request card

Get a Restroom Request Card* and helpful info

Have a discreet way to ask for access to restricted restrooms if you have symptoms. And get updates, resources and more sent to your inbox.

Person sitting at a desk viewing inflammation inside the body on a laptop

Understand your inflammation

Explore and learn how inflammation affects you with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)—from inside the body.

Person looking at map on mobile phone

Looking for a gastroenterologist?

Find a gastroenterologist—a doctor who specializes in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC)—near you.

Woman going over her doctor discussion guide with her doctor

Make the most of your appointments

Our doctor discussion guide can help you talk effectively with your doctor during your visits.

Stopwatch

Is it time to make a personalized action plan?

See how much time your disease is impacting you. Answer 5 quick questions and get 3 customized, timely steps to help you and your doctor take action with your disease.

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