The availability of new topical preparations for the treatment of left sided ulcerative colitis ulcerosa offers a therapy optimization for many patients. Rectal application of steroids and 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) is associated with fewer side effects and has a higher therapeutic efficacy in mild to moderate-active left-sided colitis as compared to a systemic therapy. Often it is argued that the patients' compliance is insufficient with a rectal therapy. However, with sufficient information on the proven advantages this is usually not the case. The rectal application of drugs in distal ulcerative colitis is suitable also for the maintenance of remission. Therefore the new therapy guidelines recommend topical therapy more than in former times. Subsequently, these manuscripts focussed specifically on the topical therapy of distal colitis, to elucidate that clear treatment advantages are present in daily practice.