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Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Mar;7(3):281-8. doi: 10.1586/egh.13.6.

The role of antimicrobials in Crohn's disease.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Wayne State University, 259 Mack Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


This review summarizes literature regarding the role of antimicrobials for induction and maintenance of Crohn's disease (CD) remission. PubMed was searched (1966 to October 2012) for controlled trials involving adults and written in English. Five of the 13 identified studies showed benefit with the use of ciprofloxacin, metronidazole and rifaximin for induction of remission. Eight studies showed no benefit using ciprofloxacin, metronidazole, combination of metronidazole and ciprofloxacin or clarithromycin and rifaximin. Four of the five studies showed benefit based on colonic location. Perianal CD with draining fistulas responded in one of two studies. Two studies in postileocolonic resection demonstrated benefit of metronidazole or ornidazole in reducing CD recurrence. Antimicrobials, especially metronidazole, are promising for inducing remission in patients with colonic CD and preventing recurrence in postileocolonic resection.

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