Dexamethasone, methotrexate, mycophenolate, mercaptopurine, azathioprine, and leflunomide are some alternatives to prednisone. Enteral nutrition (a special diet that only contains fluids) can be used as an alternative to steroids to induce remission. People who follow this diet don't need to eat regular foods or beverages because the liquid diet provides them with all the necessary nutrients they need. This approach may be especially helpful for children when there is concern that steroids may affect growth.
In adults, studies show that steroids work better at inducing remission than enteral therapy, but liquid diets or supplements can be used to support nutrition. If you prefer to try the liquid diet approach, discuss this with our IBD team. The body naturally produces steroids, such as the hormone testosterone, to build muscle tissue, among other important body processes.