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Will treatment for fulminant colitis require surgery?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Fulminant colitis is a rare but life-threatening form of ulcerative colitis. It requires intense medical treatment, usually in a hospital. If the person had previously been taking antidiarrheal drugs, that is stopped. Due to the severe and often bloody diarrhea, electrolytes, fluids, and blood may be delivered by IV. Corticosteroids and antibiotics are prescribed. If there is not significant improvement in symptoms after 24 to 48 hours of intense treatment, then surgery likely will be required to prevent death from sepsis (a bloodstream infection) caused by bacteria or perforation of the intestine or colon.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.