Case scenario

Ben, 28 years, takes olsalazine 500 mg twice daily maintenance dose for management of his ulcerative colitis. Recently Ben has been experiencing some acute flare-ups and personal issues, as he lost his job, which has forced him to start shift work. Ben discusses this with you and says he is finding it hard to maintain a routine. He also mentions that he has been forgetting to take his night dose. You think this may be contributing to his acute flare-ups and decide to contact his doctor.

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe the pathophysiology and symptoms of ulcerative colitis
  • Discuss recommendations for the management of ulcerative colitis
  • Summarise the role of the pharmacist in managing a patient with
    ulcerative colitis.

Competency standards (2016) addressed: 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 3.2

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Introduction

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, idiopathic inflammatory disease affecting the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) that results in continuous mucosal inflammation of the colon. The intestinal inflammation is confined to the colonic mucosa extending from the rectum towards the caecum. The natural history of UC is characterised by episodes of relapse and remission.1-3 UC is commonly grouped with Crohn’s disease (CD), another inflammatory disorder affecting the GIT, which fall under the umbrella term

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