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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1997 Dec;11(6):1047-52.

Oral budesonide therapy for steroid-dependent ulcerative colitis: a pilot trial.

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  • 1Department of Medicine B, University of M√ľnster, Germany.



Budesonide, a corticosteroid with high topical anti-inflammatory activity and low systemic activity, has been shown to prolong time to relapse in Crohn's disease. In the present study, the efficacy of budesonide in an oral pH-modified-release formulation was evaluated for maintenance treatment in patients with steroid-dependent ulcerative colitis.


Fourteen patients with steroid-dependent ulcerative colitis in the reduction phase of conventional glucocorticosteroids (c-GCS) following a severe attack, were treated with budesonide 3 mg t.d.s. for 6 months. The primary investigation parameters were changes in the clinical activity index (CAI) and in the daily dose of c-GCS.


In 11 cases the CAI improved significantly and treatment with c-GCS could be terminated. Three patients experienced relapse and needed further c-GCS treatment. The average daily dose of c-GCS and the average value of the CAI before treatment with budesonide were significantly higher in the relapse group than in the remission group.


In patients with c-GCS-dependent ulcerative colitis, a dose of 9 mg budesonide daily in an oral pH-modified-release formulation was well tolerated, significantly decreased the CAI, and rendered c-GCS unnecessary in the majority of cases.

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