New developments in ulcerative colitis: latest evidence on management, treatment, and maintenance

Kartikeya Tripathi, Joseph D Feuerstein
Drugs in Context 2019, 8: 212572
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic idiopathic inflammatory disorder that involves any part of the colon starting in the rectum in a continuous fashion presenting typically with symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and rectal urgency. UC is diagnosed based on clinical presentation and endoscopic evidence of inflammation in the colon starting in the rectum and extending proximally in the colon. The clinical presentation of the disease usually dictates the choice of pharmacologic therapy, where the goal is to first induce remission and then maintain a corticosteroid-free remission. There are multiple classes of drugs that are available and are used based on the clinical severity of the disease. For mild-to-moderate disease, oral or rectal formulations of 5-aminosalicylic acid are used. In moderate-to-severe UC, corticosteroids are usually used in induction of remission with or without another class of medications such as thiopurines or biologics including anti-tumor necrosis factor, anti-integrins, or Janus kinase inhibitors for maintenance of remission. Up to 15% of the patients may require surgery as they fail to respond to medications and have risk of developing dysplasia secondary to longstanding colitis.

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