Treatments for Crohn's disease

Treatments for Crohn's disease aim to inhibit an over-activated immune system.


 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 employed, 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 progressing.
Immuno-modulatory 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 contemplated.


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.
For further information:

Last updated: 12/12/2018

avatar Carenity Editorial Team

Author: Carenity Editorial Team, Editorial Team

The Carenity Editorial Team is made up of experienced editors and specialists in the healthcare field who aim to provide impartial and high quality information. Our editorial content is proofread, edited and... >> Learn more

Who reviewed it: Harry Sokol, Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist

Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris, specialisation: the role of microbiota in the immunity.

>> Learn more

Fact sheets

Newsfeed - Crohn's disease