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Current Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1389-4501
ISSN (Online): 1873-5592

Is 5-ASA Still the Treatment of Choice for Ulcerative Colitis?

Author(s): Mario Cottone, Sara Renna, Irene Modesto and Ambrogio Orlando

Volume 12, Issue 10, 2011

Page: [1396 - 1405] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/138945011796818126

Price: $65


5-Amino-salicylic (5-ASA) is up to now the treatment of choice in the induction and maintenance of remission of mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis (UC). Sulfasalazine, despite similar efficacy, is hampered by more side effects, but in presence of peripheral arthopaties it remains the treatment of choice. The new delayed release MMX formulation seems to be promising in reducing compliance problems, but further studies are warranted to show the superiority of new MMX formulation compared with the older formulations of 5-ASA. Some trials evaluated also the efficacy and safety of oncedaily dosing of older 5-ASA formulations in maintenance of remission, finding a greater adherence to therapy in the group given the once daily regimen, compared with the classic twice daily groups. Regarding the efficacy of alternative treatment such us probiotics and antibiotics, the current data are not sufficient to promote their use in clinical practice.

Clinical evidence supports the use of topical 5-ASA in active mild to moderate distal UC showing superior efficacy to placebo, topical corticosteroids, and oral 5-ASA. A combination of oral and rectal 5-ASA produces additional efficacy in both limited and extensive UC. Topical 5-ASA formulations are effective also for the maintenance of remission, however long term treatment may not be acceptable to many patients. Other topical drugs (E. Coli Nissle, propionyl-L-carnitine, butyrate, tacrolimus, rosiglitazone) have been investigated with conflicting results. The possible chemopreventive role of long term treatment with 5-ASA strengthens the indication to the long term use of 5-ASA.

Keywords: 5-ASA, Ulcerative Colitis, MMX, Topical formulation, Sulfasalazine, Treatment, SASP, Inflammatory bowel disease, Colorectal cancer chemoprevention

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