Relevant BNF section: 1.5
Around 2-4 in 1,000 people in Northern Europe have ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Both are chronic relapsing inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and share several clinical features. However, they are largely distinct in their risk factors, their genetic, immunological, anatomical and histological features, and their response to medical and surgical therapy. Their treatment is usually considered in two phases: the induction of remission in an acute attack, and the long-term maintenance of remission. In 2001, we discussed maintenance treatment in adults.1 We now discuss the induction of remission, concentrating on newer therapeutic approaches.