Medical Q&As

Ulcerative colitis - treatment with steroids?

My mother who is 56 years old was diagnosed almost 11 months ago with ulcerative colitis. She has been on several medications including enemas however, recently the problem has flared up and the diarrhoea and bleeding is very severe. She is attending a specialist however; yesterday her GP put her on Deltacortril 5mg 8 per day for 5 days. I know these pills are a form of steroid and I am just wondering what exactly they will do for her. She also gave up smoking 14 months ago. Is there any connection?

You are correct when you say that Deltacortril is a steroid and such drugs are an important mainstay in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis. These drugs are used to suppress the inflammation in the lining of the colon thereby helping to bring the relapse under control. I assume that your mother has been using some form of maintenance treatment for her condition. If she has not been taking such treatment then she should discuss this option with her specialist because such treatment helps to reduce the frequency and severity of relapses. Curiously enough the vast majority of sufferers with ulcerative colitis are non-smokers and the first attack of the disease in ex-smokers often occurs soon after giving up cigarettes.