Evolving medical therapies for ulcerative colitis
- Cite this article as:
- Cohen, R.D. Curr Gastroenterol Rep (2002) 4: 497. doi:10.1007/s11894-002-0026-y
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Therapies for patients with ulcerative colitis have, until recently, been limited in scope and efficacy. New formulations of mesalamine and corticosteroids have challenged the older therapies with respect to both efficacy and safety. The application of 6-mercaptopurine and azathioprine for steroid-refractory disease and maintenance of remission has resulted in studies of other candidate immunomodulatory agents. Biologic therapies targeting tumor necrosis factor, adhesion molecules, or other cytokines are under intense scrutiny as potential disease-altering agents that may even replace currently available products. Other approaches, including such wide-ranging products as heparin, nicotine, and probiotics, suggest that control of ulcerative colitis may require an individualized approach for each patient.