The aim of treatment for crohns disease is to bring about long-term remission of the disease. It may involve high doses of corticosteroid drugs, which are given either orally or intravenously; the immunosuppressant drugs azathioprine or mercaptopurine; metronidazole; and also enteral feeding, in which easily digestible food in liquid form is given through a tube directly into the intestine.
Once the disease is in remission, normal feeding can be resumed and the dose of corticosteroids reduced. Aminosalicylate drugs, such as sulfasalazine or mesalazine, may be given.
Surgical treatment to remove damaged sections of the intestine is avoided whenever possible because the disease may recur in other parts. Many patients do need surgery at some stage, however, to treat problems including perforation or blockage of the intestine.
Some people in whom the disease is localized remain in normal health indefinitely and seem to be cured.