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Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2011 May;7(5):295-301.

Searching for the delta: 5-aminosalicylic Acid therapy for Crohn's disease.


Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory condition that often requires lifelong medical therapy for the induction and maintenance of remission. Oral mesalamine (5-aminosalicylic acid [5-ASA]) therapy has several forms, which can be categorized into oral formulations and prodrugs. The ability to demonstrate the efficacy of 5-ASA is limited in most clinical trials by the nonspecific endpoints of the Crohn's Disease Activity Index. Overall, clinical trials have not shown 5-ASA therapy to be superior to placebo for the induction of remission, with the exception of sulfasalazine in colonic CD. 5-ASA therapy has also not been shown to be superior to placebo for maintenance of medically induced remission; however, mesalamine may have a modest effect in surgically induced remission. Further research is needed regarding the optimal monitoring and therapy for patients with mild CD who often achieve remission with placebo in clinical trials.


5-aminosalicylate; Crohn's disease; mesalamine; sulfasalazine

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