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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Feb 1;27(3):228-40. Epub 2007 Nov 6.

Clinical trial: oral prednisolone metasulfobenzoate (Predocol) vs. oral prednisolone for active ulcerative colitis.

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School of Clinical Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.



Systemic corticosteroids are effective in ulcerative colitis but commonly cause side effects.


To compare the safety and efficacy of a sparingly absorbed formulation of prednisolone metasulfobenzoate (Predocol) with a conventional tapering course of oral prednisolone.


In a double-blind randomized study, 59 active ulcerative colitis patients received Predocol 40 mg/day for 6 months, 61 received Predocol 60 mg/day for 6 months and 61 received prednisolone 40 mg/day for 2 weeks, tapered to week 8, followed by placebo until 6 months.


Steroid-related side effects assessed using a 10-cm visual analogue scale were fewer at 2 months with Predocol 40 mg [VAS 8.1 cm (2.6), mean (s.d.)], or 60 mg [8.1 (2.1)] compared with prednisolone [6.7 (2.7); P = 0.01]. Mood changes affected 43% receiving prednisolone at 4 weeks vs. 8% for Predocol 40 mg (P = 0.001). Remission rates (Powell-Tuck < or =2) at 2 months were Predocol 40 mg 46%, Predocol 60 mg 28% and tapering prednisolone 41% (P = 0.13). Visual analogue scale for efficacy also showed non-inferiority for Predocol 40 mg/day. Remission rates at 6 months were Predocol 40 mg 51%, Predocol 60 mg 38% and tapering prednisolone 32% (P = 0.08).


Predocol 40 mg/day has similar efficacy but markedly fewer side effects than a conventional tapering prednisolone regimen (ISRCTN14133410).

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