A report on efficacy and safety of azathioprine in a group of inflammatory bowel disease patients in northwest Greece (Journal article)

Christodoulou, D./ Katsanos, K./ Baltayiannis, G./ Tzabouras, N./ Tsianos, E. V.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Inflammatory bowel disease has a variable severity and in a group of patients a second-line treatment with immunosuppressive agents, such as azathioprine is required. The aim of the present study was to determine the efficacy and safety of long-term azathioprine treatment in inflammatory bowel disease patients unresponsive to steroids. METHODOLOGY: We investigated the efficacy of azathioprine in controlling the disease relapse (in combination with other drugs) in 29 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (16 with ulcerative colitis and 13 with Crohn's disease). Patients, who were started on azathioprine in combination with steroids, were those who were resistant to steroids. After controlling the acute phase, steroids were discontinued or reduced in very low doses (up to 4 mg methylprednisone per day) and azathioprine was administered in combination with mesalamine for a period of 12-48 months. RESULTS: Azathioprine (in combination with 5-ASA products and steroids) succeeded in controlling the acute relapse in 24 of 29 patients [82.75%, 15/16 (93.7%) with ulcerative colitis and 9/13 (69.2%) with Crohn's disease]. Of the patients who achieved remission, this was maintained for 1 year at least. Only one case of pancreatitis and one with vomiting and diarrhea were noted a few months after the initiation of therapy and azathioprine was discontinued. CONCLUSIONS: Azathioprine is an effective agent which controls acute relapse of inflammatory bowel disease in many cases in combination with other drugs. Long-term remission can be achieved. Side effects are uncommon.
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Επιστημών Υγείας. Τμήμα Ιατρικής
Keywords: Azathioprine/*therapeutic use,Colitis, Ulcerative/*drug therapy,Crohn Disease/*drug therapy,Female,Greece,Humans,Immunosuppressive Agents/*therapeutic use,Male,Treatment Outcome
URI: https://olympias.lib.uoi.gr/jspui/handle/123456789/24229
ISSN: 0172-6390
Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12845970
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα σε επιστημονικά περιοδικά ( Ανοικτά)

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