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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2013 Apr;19(5):1073-9. doi: 10.1097/01.MIB.0000428910.36091.10.

Ciprofloxacin for the prevention of postoperative recurrence in patients with Crohn's disease: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA. hherf@med.unc.edu



The commensal bacterial flora plays a critical role in the postoperative recurrence of Crohn's disease (CD). We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 6-month pilot trial of ciprofloxacin for the prevention of endoscopic recurrence in patients with CD who underwent surgery.


Thirty-three patients with CD, who had undergone surgery with ileocolonic anastomosis within the previous 2 weeks, were randomized to treatment with ciprofloxacin (500 mg twice daily) or placebo tablets for 6 months. Endpoints were endoscopic recurrence at 6 months and safety and tolerability of long-term ciprofloxacin therapy.


Thirty-three patients were randomized; 14 patients discontinued the study early. Significant endoscopic recurrence was observed in 3 of 9 patients (33%) in the ciprofloxacin group and 5 of 10 patients (50%) in the placebo group at 6 months after surgery (P < 0.578). The intention-to-treat analysis demonstrated endoscopic recurrence in 11 of 17 patients (65%) in the ciprofloxacin group and 11 of 16 patients (69%) in the placebo group at month 6 (P < 0.805). Thirty-six adverse events occurred in 19 of 33 patients (58%). Possible drug-associated adverse events occurred significantly more often in the ciprofloxacin group (P < 0.043), leading to study drug discontinuation in 24% (4 of 17) and 6% of patients (1 of 16) in the ciprofloxacin and placebo groups, respectively (P < 0.166).


In this pilot study, ciprofloxacin was not more effective than placebo for the prevention of postoperative recurrence in patients with CD. Long-term ciprofloxacin therapy is limited by drug-associated side effects. Future studies in postoperative prevention of CD should evaluate antibiotic approaches with a more favorable safety profile.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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