Crohn’s Disease and antibiotics

August 5, 2008

Ciprofloxacin and metronidazole are antibiotics that are effective against a broad range of bacteria. According to an article on eMedicine from Gastroenterology Associates, they are the most commonly used antibiotics prescribed for treating people with inflammatory bowel disease and are prescribed for Crohn’s disease, most often for disease around the anus, for fistulas (abnormal connections between the intestines and other organs), or for inflammatory masses in the abdomen such as abscesses (infections). Antibiotics also may be of some use when treating ileitis. These antibiotics may be prescribed separately or together.

However, according to an Italian study reported in the American Journal of Gastroenterology metronidazole and ciprofloxacin were not clearly more effective than steroids at inducing remission in a trial of 41 patients with active Crohn’s disease, nor did they clearly cause fewer side effects. But particularly in view of the number of patients who withdrew from the study, an editorial commentary called the study too small to show any difference between steroids and antibiotics in the active treatment of active Crohn’s disease.


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