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Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 1995 Nov;87(11):775-80.

[Efficacy of 6-mercaptopurine in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio M. Interna, Hospital de Sagunto, Valencia.



To assess the efficacy of 6-mercaptopurine in I.B.D. treatment.


21 patients with chronic active disease (8 patients with ulcerative colitis and 13 with Crohn's disease) and mean follow-up 5 years for both diseases (range ulcerative colitis 1-11 and Crohn's disease 1-14 years, respectively). The indications of inmunosuppressor treatment were: corticosteroid dependence (3 ulcerative colitis; 6 Crohn's disease), refractory disease (5 ulcerative colitis; 4 Crohn's disease), fistulae (5 Crohn's disease) and perianal disease (4 Crohn's disease). All patients received a mean dose of 30 mg/day of prednisone. Complete, partial and clinical remission, of failure of treatment are defined.


The mean dose of 6-mercaptopurine was 90 mg/day with a response mean time of 3.4 months and 12 months of duration (range 1-36). Complete or partial clinical remission was achieved in 77.7% of all the patients (steroid dependent 88.8%, refractory disease 77.7%, fistulae 40%, perianal disease 100% of all the patients (steroid dependent 88.8%, refractory disease 77.7%, fistulae 40%, perianal disease 100%), in 87% of ulcerative colitis patients (steroid dependent 100%, refractory 80%) and in 61.5% of Crohn's disease patients (steroid dependent 83.7%, refractory disease 75%). Secondary effects were observed in two patients.


Our results suggest that 6-mercaptopurine is an effective and safe drug in the treatment of patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease in corticosteroid dependent, refractory and perianal disease, its efficacy being less in fistulae.

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