Managing Your Symptoms

The best way to control Crohn’s disease is by taking medications as prescribed by your doctor or other healthcare professional.

However, medications may not immediately get rid of all the symptoms that you are experiencing. You may continue to have occasional diarrhea, cramping, nausea, and fever

Even when there are no symptoms, or just minimal ones, it may still seem like a nuisance to be on a steady regimen of medication. Remember, though, that taking maintenance medication can significantly reduce the risk of flares in Crohn’s disease. In between flares, most people feel quite well and are free of symptoms

Talk to your doctor about which over-thecounter (OTC) medications you can take to help relieve those symptoms. These may include diphenoxylate-atropine (Lomotil®) or loperamide (Imodium®) taken as needed to control diarrhea. Most anti-gas products and digestive aids may also be safe to use, but you should ask your doctor about these first. To reduce fever or ease joint pain, speak with your healthcare provider about taking acetaminophen (Tylenol®) rather than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), and naproxen (Aleve®). NSAIDs may irritate your digestive system. Many over-the-counter medications can have adverse effects on the Crohn’s disease itself or interact with some of the medications prescribed to treat your Crohn’s disease. The safest way to handle over-the-counter medications is to follow the guidelines and instructions of your doctor and pharmacist.

For further information about managing the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, please read our Managing Flares and Other IBD Symptoms brochure available at www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/brochures.