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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1996 Sep;8(9):905-9.

Oral pH-modified release budesonide versus 6-methylprednisolone in active Crohn's disease. German/Austrian Budesonide Study Group.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Universities of Regensburg.



Corticosteroids are effective in acute Crohn's disease (CD). The present study assessed the effectiveness and safety of oral pH-modified release budesonide (BUD) in patients with active CD in comparison with 6-methylprednisolone (MPred).


This was a prospective multicentre, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy study.


A total of 67 patients with active CD (CDAI > 150) were included. Patients were treated with 3 x 3 mg BUD (n = 34) or MPred (n = 33) according to a weekly tapering schedule (48-32-24-20-16-12-8 mg). The primary aim was remission of CD (CDAI < 150 and decrease by at least 60 points from baseline) after eight weeks.


Baseline demographics, disease activity and localization of CD in the small bowel and the colon were similar in both treatment groups. On an intention-to-treat basis 19/34 patients in the BUD group (55.9%) and 24/33 patients in the MPred group (72.7%) were in remission after eight weeks (P = 0.237). Therapy failed in 15/34 patients (44.1%) of the BUD group and in 9/33 patients (27.3%) of the MPred group. The mean CDAI decreased from 262 +/- 50 to 118 +/- 69 in the BUD-group and from 262 +/- 81 to 95 +/- 61 in the Mored group (P = 0.183, final CDAI BUD vs. MPred). Steroid-related side effects appeared in 28.6% of the patients in the BUD group and in 69.7% of the patients in the Mored group (P = 0.0015).


Oral pH-modified release budesonide (3 x 3 mg/day) is almost as effective as a conventional corticosteroid in patients with active CD but causes significantly less corticosteroid-related side effects.

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