Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment for proctitis depends on the underlying cause of the inflammation.

Treatment for proctitis caused by an infection

Your doctor may recommend medications to treat your infection. Options may include:

  • Antibiotics. For proctitis caused by bacterial infections, your doctor may recommend an antibiotic, such as doxycycline (Periostat, Vibramycin).
  • Antivirals. For proctitis caused by viral infections, such as the sexually transmitted virus herpes, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication, such as acyclovir (Sitavig, Zovirax, others).

Treatment for proctitis caused by radiation therapy

Mild cases of radiation proctitis may not require treatment. In other cases, radiation proctitis can cause severe pain and bleeding that requires treatment. Your doctor may recommend treatments such as:

  • Medications. Medications are given in pill, suppository or enema form. They include sucralfate (Carafate), mesalamine (Asacol, Canasa, others) and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), and metronidazole (Flagyl). These medications can help control inflammation and reduce bleeding.
  • Stool softeners and dilation. These can help open up obstructions in the bowel.
  • Treatment to destroy damaged tissue. These techniques improve proctitis symptoms by destroying abnormal tissue (ablation) that is bleeding. Ablation procedures used to treat proctitis include argon plasma coagulation (APC), electrocoagulation and other therapies.

Proctitis caused by inflammatory bowel disease

Treatment of proctitis related to Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis is aimed at reducing the inflammation in your rectum. Treatment may include:

  • Medications to control rectal inflammation. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, either by mouth or as a suppository or enema — such as mesalamine (Asacol, Canasa, others) — or corticosteroids — such as prednisone (Rayos) or budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris). Inflammation in people with Crohn's disease often requires treatment with a medication that suppresses the immune system, such as azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran) or infliximab (Remicade).
  • Surgery. If drug therapy doesn't relieve your signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove a damaged portion of your digestive tract.
June 12, 2015