The treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC) has changed over the last decade. It is extremely important to optimize the therapies which are available nowadays and commonly used in daily clinical practice, as well as to stimulate the search for more powerful drugs for the induction and maintenance of sustained and durable remission, thus preventing further complications. Therefore, it is mandatory to identify the patients' prognostic variables associated with an aggressive clinical course and to test the most potent therapies accordingly.
To date, the conventional therapeutic approach based on corticosteroids, salicylates (sulfasalazine, 5-aminosalicylic acid) or immunosuppressive agents is commonly used as a first step to induce and to maintain remission. However, in recent years, knowledge of new pathogenetic mechanisms of ulcerative colitis have allowed us to find new therapeutic targets leading to the development of new treatments that directly target proinflammatory mediators, such as TNF-alpha, cytokines, membrane migration agents, cellular therapies.
The aim of this review is to provide the most significant data regarding the therapeutic role of drugs in UC and to give an overview of biological and experimental drugs that will become available in the near future. In particular, we will analyse the role of these drugs in the treatment of acute flare and maintenance of UC, as well as its importance in mucosal healing and in treating patients at a high risk of relapse.


ulcerative colitis, therapy, biological therapy, infliximab, adalimumab