Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that can lead to derangements in the growth, nutritional status, and psychosocial development of affected children. There are several medical options for the induction and maintenance of disease remission, but the benefits of these medications need to be carefully weighed against the risks, especially in the pediatric population. As the etiology of the disease has become increasingly understood, newer therapeutic alternatives have arisen in the form of biologic therapies, which are monoclonal antibodies targeted to a specific protein or receptor. This review will discuss the classical treatments for children with ulcerative colitis, including 5-aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, thiopurine immunomodulators, and calcineurin inhibitors, with a particular focus on the newer class of anti-tumor necrosis factor-α agents.
Keywords: 5-aminosalicylates, anti-tumor necrosis factor-α agents, corticosteroids, cyclosporine, inflammatory bowel disease, thiopurine immunomodulators