I see it's only been a month since diagnosis and beginning medication. First of all pentasa is an anti-inflammatory and it takes awhile to build the therapeutic levels of medication up in your body, usually as long as six-weeks to two months. Despite its cost, I wouldn't stop Pentasa now, especially while you are still ramping up your dose of entocort. Each person responds to medications differently so you will have to become a bit of an investigator in order to work effectively with your health care team. Keep track of how your symptoms correlate to your drugs and changes in their doses. You have seen a marked increase in symptoms since you stopped Pentasa. It may or may not be because you stopped the drug, but you have already discovered one important thing -- for you at this point in your disease, high fibre roughage like popcorn is a no-no.
While entocort is a non-systemic form of steroid, it is still a steroid. First of all it doesn't treat the disease it only treats its symptoms. Secondly, it can lead to unwanted complications in the long term. People using steroids for long periods are at increased risk of developing diabetes and osteoporosis and they can become steroid-dependent, meaning that their own bodies stop producing the natural hormones that are in steroids.
The good thing about steroids is that they usually work quickly to reduce symptoms. Doctors usually give them in combination with other drugs at the beginning of treatment until those other medications have a chance to kick in. They don't, however treat the underlying disease.For that reason, and because of the potential for adverse effects, usually once the other drugs have had a chance to work and remission has been acheived, most physicians will then slowly wean their patient off the steroid.
That's where the anti-inflammatories, like Pentasa, and the immuno-modulators (Remicade) and immuno-suppressants (azathioprine) come in. Pentasa is a good entry level drug and it induces remission in many people. If it does not work, there are stronger medications your physician can then step up to.
Good luck as you begin your journey of discovery with crohn's disease. It isn't a journey any of us would have chosen, but many of us have learned to integrate the disease into our lives and have found ways to view the experience positively. I know it has taught me many valuable lessons in the last 30 years.
thank you so much for all the awesome and very useful information. it's been quite a journey already and i am still in kind of a daze that i am going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life and what's going to happen next and just wondering how much worse or better this disease is going to get. it's really nice to find a community of people to talk to. otherwise, i would be driving my gi NUTS!