How are corticosteroids used to treat Crohn's disease?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Corticosteroids are recommended to treat active disease in most people with Crohn's disease. They may be given alone in milder disease, or combined with a thiopurine or methotrexate for moderate or severe disease. Once the disease is in remission, the corticosteroid is gradually tapered. Corticosteroids are not used for maintaining remission or for long-term treatment.

For children with active Crohn's disease, enteral nutrition, also called tube feeding, is often the first treatment to be tried. Corticosteroids are used when enteral nutrition is not an option or is not helping. 

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