Antibiotics kill and curb the growth of bacteria. In some cases, the inflammation that is the underlying cause of IBD is caused by intestinal bacteria. By killing off and controlling that bacteria, antiboitics can help treat some cases of IBD. They are often used to control flares.

Antibiotics can also be used to treat abscesses, strictures and pouchitis.

Generic Brand name
amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium Augmentin
ciprofloxacin Cipro, Proquin
doxycycline Doryx,Monodox, Oracea, Periostat, Vibramycin
levofloxacin Levaquin
metronidazole (oral) Flagyl
sulfamethosazol/trimethoprim Bactrim
vancomycin Vancocin

How is it administered?

For the treatment of IBD, antibiotics are usually in pill form and administered orally. They can be administered intravenously for more acute complications and infections.

When will I feel better?

Some people experience relief of symptoms within approximately three to five days after their first dose, but it may take up to a week to 10 days to feel the maximum benefit.

Side effects

Each antibiotic has its own set of side effects which range from

  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • sensitivity to sun
  • dizziness
  • rash 

Possible drug interactions

Antibiotics interact with many medications, so you should discuss the medications you are taking with your care team before you start taking an antibiotic.

Taking Antibiotics while Pregnant

If you are planning to become pregnant or are pregnant, talk about any antibiotics you are taking with your care team. Some antibiotics should be avoided because of possible harm to the fetus.

The same is true for breastfeeding.