Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects
the large intestine (colon and rectum). It causes inflammation—irritation
or swelling—and sores called ulcers on the innermost lining of the
The exact cause of UC is not fully understood, but it’s thought to be a result of a combination of factors including genetics, the environment, and the immune system.
While several genes were found to be associated with UC, many people who carry these genes do not develop UC
About 20% of patients have a close relative with UC
Based on current research, there’s no way to predict which, if any, family members will develop UC
Immune responses in the large intestine can be due to exposure to foreign substances in the environment, including microorganisms and intestinal bacteria
It’s more common in urban than in rural areas and in northern than southern climates
Certain foods can aggravate symptoms in some people, but there have been no studies to suggest that diet can either cause or treat UC
Researchers believe substances in the intestine are mistaken for invading substances (antigens)
To combat these antigens, your immune system causes temporary inflammation, which is reduced as you regain health
With UC, inflammation can persist long after your immune system should have finished its job
To diagnose ulcerative colitis, doctors evaluate the patient's history and perform physical exams and 1 or more laboratory tests, including:
These tests can help doctors determine the location and type of ulcerative colitis. Symptoms may vary depending on the extent and severity of inflammation in the rectum and the colon.
UC can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can be similar to other intestinal disorders. If your doctor suspects that you have UC, he or she can refer you to a gastroenterologist who specializes in UC and other IBDs.
There are several medications available to treat people with moderate to severe UC. So being well informed is an important first step toward finding a treatment that is right for you. Learning about your options and setting goals for your treatment can help you and your doctor make the best decisions about your care.Get the Most from Your Next Doctor’s Appointment
You should discuss the potential benefits and risks of HUMIRA with your doctor. HUMIRA is a TNF blocker medicine that can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. You should not start taking HUMIRA if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor says it is okay.
Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Your doctor should test you for TB before starting HUMIRA, and check you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with HUMIRA, even if your TB test was negative. If your doctor feels you are at risk, you may be treated with medicine for TB.
Cancer. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, the chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase. There have been cases of unusual cancers in children, teenagers, and young adults using TNF blockers. Some people have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma. This type of cancer often results in death. If using TNF blockers including HUMIRA, your chance of getting two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) may increase. These types are generally not life-threatening if treated; tell your doctor if you have a bump or open sore that doesn’t heal.
Tell your doctor about all of your health conditions, including if you:
Also tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. You should not take HUMIRA with ORENCIA® (abatacept), KINERET® (anakinra), REMICADE® (infliximab), ENBREL® (etanercept), CIMZIA® (certolizumab pegol), or SIMPONI® (golimumab). Tell your doctor if you have ever used RITUXAN® (rituximab), IMURAN® (azathioprine), or PURINETHOL® (mercaptopurine, 6-MP).
HUMIRA can cause serious side effects, including:
Call your doctor or get medical care right away if you develop any of the above symptoms.
Common side effects of HUMIRA include injection site reactions (redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising), upper respiratory infections (sinus infections), headaches, rash, and nausea. These are not all of the possible side effects with HUMIRA. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
HUMIRA is given by injection under the skin.
HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used:
HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used in adults to help get moderate to severe ulcerative colitis under control (induce remission) and keep it under control (sustain remission) when certain other medicines have not worked well enough. It is not known if HUMIRA is effective in people who stopped responding to or could not tolerate anti-TNF medicines.
Serious infections have happened in people taking HUMIRA. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. HUMIRA may increase the chance of getting lymphoma, including a rare kind, or other cancers. HUMIRA can cause serious side effects including hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus, allergic reactions, nervous system problems, blood problems, heart failure, certain immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome, liver problems, and new or worsening psoriasis.