[Aminosalicylates and steroids in the treatment ot chronic inflammatory bowel diseases—consensus paper of the Working Group for Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases of the OGGH]

C Dejaco, T Haas, A Kirchgatterer, W Miehsler, H Wenzl, P Knoflach, W Petritsch, H Vogelsang, W Reinisch, H Tilg
Zeitschrift Für Gastroenterologie 2006, 44 (6): 525-38; discussion 539
5-aminosalicylates (5-ASA) and steroids constitute a cornerstone of medical therapy in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Whereas the efficacy of 5-ASA in Crohn's disease (CD) is equivocal, ulcerative colitis (UC) is the main indication for this drug. In UC, 5-ASA is effective in the treatment of mild to moderate acute disease and in maintenance of remission. Furthermore, 5-ASA topical therapy is an important treatment option in patients with mild to moderate proctitis and/or left-sided UC and shows additive efficacy to oral therapy. From retrospective data a chemo-preventative activity of long-term 5-ASA therapy in UC is delineated. Steroids are treatment of first choice for moderate to severe cases of CD and UC. Budesonide, a modified steroid with less side effects, plays a major role in the treatment of ileocolonic CD +/- involvement of the right colon and is used as treatment of choice in mild-to-moderate cases. In case of acute, severe disease conventional steroids are superior compared to budesonide and therefore budesonide should only be used after considerable improvement of disease activity. The necessity to apply steroids in a given patient represents a negative prognostic indicator for the course of disease and should incite the early introduction of immunosuppressive therapy in this case. Steroids are only effective as short term therapy of IBD and are to be avoided for maintenance treatment. In all cases of steroid therapy an osteoporosis prophylaxis with calcium and vitamin D is recommended. Topical steroid treatment is less effective in left-sided UC compared to 5-ASA.

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