The care for a patient with ulcerative colitis (UC) remains challenging despite the fact that morbidity and mortality rates have been considerably reduced during the last 30 years. The traditional management with intravenous corticosteroids was modified by the introduction of ciclosporin and infliximab. In this review, we focus on the treatment of patients with moderate to severe UC. Four typical clinical scenarios are defined and discussed in detail. The treatment recommendations are based on current literature, published guidelines and reviews, and were discussed at a consensus meeting of Swiss experts in the field. Comprehensive treatment algorithms were developed, aimed for daily clinical practice.