Medication Options

The treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can involve various approaches including medical management, surgery, and nutritional therapy. When you were first diagnosed with IBD, it is likely that your parent or other caregiver was very involved in the decisions around your treatment. As you begin your experiences in college, and become more independent, knowing as much as you can about IBD treatments can help you make decisions for your care in the future, and help you become more proactive in your disease management.


It is important to know that your doctor will work with you to help keep your symptoms and inflammation under control or find the right medication for you. It may take some time for medications to take effect, or sometimes a medication may stop working. Open communication with your doctor is the best way to work as a team towards the goal of remission.

IBD medications generally fall into 5 categories:

  • Aminosalicylates
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunomodulators
  • Antibiotics
  • Biologic therapies

To learn more about these medication categories, click here. You can also access our IBD medication guide to find your specific medication (visit Be sure to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and side effects of these medications.