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Question 1 of 3: What's your biggest struggle with IBD?

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Medicines

How do I keep track of my medicine? 

The best way to get control of your symptoms and get to remission is to follow the treatment plan your doctor has ordered. This is called adherence, and it is your responsibility. No matter how you are feeling, you should continue your doctor’s plan. If you stop taking your medication, you risk a flare. Create an adherence plan for yourself that you follow faithfully:

  • Use a reminder system like MyMedSchedule.com or an alarm clock.
  • Use a chart listing your medicine and put a check on it when you’ve taken it
  • Sort a whole week’s pills into a pillbox. It will be easy to see what you’ve taken.
  • Use the GI Buddy app to help keep track of your medication.

Types of Medicine

Aminosalicylates

Purpose*

  • Reduces intestinal inflammation
  • Used to maintain remission

Some Possible Side Effects*

  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

For more detailed information, check out the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Aminosalicylates Fact Sheet.

Antibiotics

Purpose*

  • To fight infection
  • To maintain balance of good and bad bacteria in intestines

Some Possible Side Effects*

  • Some allergic reactions
  • Other side effects depend on specific drug used

For more detailed information, check out the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Antibiotics Fact Sheet.

Biologic Therapies 

Purpose*

  • To block proteins that cause inflammation
  • To reduce signs and symptoms
  • To induce and maintain remission

Some Possible Side Effects*

  • Allergic reactions
  • Reduced ability to fight infections
  • Risk of malignancy (rare)

For more detailed information, check out the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's  Biologic Therapies Fact Sheet.

Corticosteroids

Purpose*

  • To suppress the immune system
  • To control flares
  • To reduce inflammation

Some Possible Side Effects*

  • Weight gain
  • Face swelling
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Infections
  • Acne

For more detailed information, check out the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's  Corticosteroids Fact Sheet.

Immunomodulators

Purpose*

  • Some Immunomodulators may take a few months before they start working
  • To suppress the immune system
  • To achieve remission
  • To maintain remission

Some Possible Side Effects*

  • Nausea
  • Inflammation of some organs
  • Reduced ability to fight infections
  • Risk of malignancy (rare)

 For more detailed information, check out the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's  Immunomodulators Fact Sheet.

Over-the-counter medicine

Purpose*

  • To control symptoms of IBD, like diarrhea, constipation, and pain.

Some Possible Side Effects*

  • Specific to each medication

* This list is not a complete description of medication purpose and side effects. Be sure to speak with your health care provider regarding your individual benefits, risk, and side effects.

Learn More

If you would like to learn more about IBD medications, check out the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's  Understanding IBD Medications and Side Effects brochure [PDF].

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