Crohn’s Treatment Chart

Read our full Crohn’s disease article, Treating Crohn’s Disease: A Balancing Act, for more information.

Drug CategoryExamplesPossible Side EffectsSerious Side Effects (Call Doctor)
Corticosteroidsprednisone, budesonideHeadache, dizziness, mood or personality changes, fatigue, easy bruising, decreased sex drive, slow healing, acne, photosensitivity, reduced bone densityVision changes or other eye problems, signs of infection such as fever or sore throat, seizures, confusion, muscle twitching or uncontrollable shaking, numbness, swelling, weight gain, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat
AntibioticsmetronidazoleVomiting, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, metallic tasteRash, itching, signs of infection such as stuffy nose or fever, joint pain, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, confusion, agitation, poor coordination
ciprofloxacinNausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, increased risk of tendinitis or tendon ruptureDizziness, confusion, anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, hallucinations, depression, suicidal thoughts, tremors, rapid heart rate, fainting, difficulty breathing, joint or muscle pain, hoarseness, fever, hives, itching, facial swelling, yellowing of skin or eyes, darker or decreased urination, seizures
AminosalicylatesmesalamineHeadache, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, muscle or joint pain, back pain, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, gas, constipation, dry mouth, itching, dizziness, sweating, acne, slight hair loss, decreased appetiteChest pain, shortness of breath, black or tarry stools, bloody or coffee ground vomit, swelling anywhere on the body
sulfasalazineDiarrhea, headache, loss of appetite, upset stomach, vomiting, stomach pain
Skin rash, itching, hives, swelling, sore throat, fever, joint or muscle aches, pale or yellow skin, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, unusual bleeding or bruising, weakness
olsalazineStomach upset, bloating, loss of appetite, blurred vision, headache, joint pain, dizzinessSkin rash, chest pain, diarrhea, unusual bleeding or bruising
balsalazideHeadache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, joint pain, difficulty falling or staying asleep, fatigue, muscle pain, coughing, loss of appetite, urinary tract infection, constipation, dry mouthYellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, bloating, severe diarrhea, rectal bleeding, flu-like symptoms
ImmunomodulatorsmethotrexateNausea; headache; fatigue; damage to liver, lung, mouth, stomach, intestinal lining; weakened immune system; reduced blood cell count; increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomaSore throat, chills, fever, or other signs of infection; unusual bruising or bleeding; excessive tiredness; pale skin; shortness of breath; rash, blisters, or peeling skin; blurred vision or vision loss; seizures; confusion; weakness or difficulty moving; loss of consciousness; mouth sores; diarrhea; black or bloody stools; bloody or coffee ground vomit
azathioprineNausea, vomiting, diarrhea, reduced blood cell count, increased cancer risk, liver abnormalities, pancreatitis, serious infections, increase risk of cancerRash, fever, weakness, muscle pain, stomach pain, bruising easily, pale skin, confusion, dizziness, shortness of breath
mercaptopurine or 6-MPNausea, vomiting, skin darkening, hair loss, rash, reduced blood cell counts, liver damage, increased cancer riskYellowing in the skin or eyes, weakness, shortness of breath, sore throat, fever, chills, swelling in lower legs or feet, unusual bruising or bleeding, appetite loss, diarrhea, abdominal swelling or pain
cyclosporineHeadache, diarrhea, heartburn, gas, increased hair growth on face or arms or back, extra tissue growth in gums, acne, muscle or joint pain, pain or pressure in the face, ear problems, depression, male breast enlargement, insomnia, kidney problems, hypertension, burning or tingling in the hands, feet, arms or legsTremor, unusual bleeding or bruising, yellowing in the eyes or skin, seizures, loss of consciousness, behavior or mood changes, vision changes, confusion, rash, purple blotchy skin, swelling in the hands, arms, feet, ankles or legs
tacrolimusHeadache, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach pain, appetite loss, insomnia, dizziness, weakness, back or joint pain, tingling or numbness in the hands or fingers, rash, itching, increased cancer riskUncontrollable shaking, decreased or painful urination, weight gain, unusual bruising or bleeding, seizures, loss of consciousness, or swelling of arms, hands, lower legs
Biologics: TNF-inhibitorsinfliximabInfusion or injection site reactions, increased risk of infection, stomach pain, nausea, heartburn, headache, runny nose, back pain, oral white patches, flushing, vaginal itching, increased cancer riskSerious infections, lupus-like reactions, any rash, chest pain, weight gain, shortness of breath, blurred vision or vision changes, confusion, dizziness, arm or leg weakness, muscle or joint pain, numbness or tingling in body, seizures, yellowing in skin or eyes, darker urine, appetite loss, upper right abdominal pain, unusual bruising or bleeding, bloody stools, red or scaly patches or pus-filled bumps on skin, and swelling of feet, ankles, stomach or lower legs
adalimumabNausea, headache, back pain, injection site reactions, increased risk of infection, increased cancer riskNumbness or tingling, vision problems, leg weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, rash, new joint pain, hives, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, unusual bleeding or bruising, pale skin, dizziness, red or scaly patches or pus-filled bumps on the skin, fever or other signs of infection, swelling of the face, feet, ankles or lower legs
certolizumabHeadache, back pain, injection site reactions, increased risk of infection, increased cancer riskFacial swelling, hoarseness, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing or breathing, chest pain, sudden weight gain, hives, hot flashes, dizziness or fainting, rash, unusual bruising or bleeding, pale or blistering skin, extreme fatigue, numbness or tingling, vision problems, arm or leg weakness, joint pain, appetite loss, red or scaly patches or pus-filled bumps on the skin
Biologics: Anti-integrinsnatalizumabHeadache, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain or cramps, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss or gain, depression, night sweats, painful or missed periods, frequent or painful urination, tooth pain, cold sores, vaginal discharge and itching, urinary tract infection, liver abnormalities, increased risk of infection, risk of rare brain infection (PML)Sore throat, rash, cough or fever or other signs of infection, rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, flushing, yellowing in the skin or eyes, nausea, vomiting, unusual dark urine, right upper abdominal pain, vision changes
vedolizumabHeadache, nausea, joint or back pain, pain in arms or legs, injection site reactions, liver abnormalities, increased risk of infection, risk of rare brain infection (PML)Red or painful skin or sores on body, urination pain, confusion or memory problems, loss of balance, changes in walking or speech, blurred vision or vision loss, extreme fatigue, appetite loss, upper right abdominal pain, unusual bleeding or bruising, dark urine, yellowing in skin or eyes, decreased strength or weakness on one side of the body, fever or other signs of infection
Biologics:
Monoclonal antibody
ustekinumabHeadache, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, injection site reaction, nausea, vomiting, joint pain, increased risk of infection, increased cancer riskSeizures, confusion, vision changes, feeling faint, rash, itching, hives,swelling of the face, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest or throat

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