Azathioprine in inflammatory bowel disease.

Sílvia Leite, José Manuel Ribeiro, Salomé C Lima, Sónia Barroso, José Cotter


Characterisation of an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) population treated with azathioprine (AZA) and evaluation of AZA safety and efficacy.Retrospective analysis of IBD patients attending our Gastroenterology department in a six months period. Results: In 137 IBD patients, 30 began AZA treatment; 18 Crohn's disease (CD) and 12 ulcerative colitis (UC). Mean time of treatment was 3.2 years. The reason for treatment was: 76.6% steroid dependent or steroid refractory (SD/SR) disease, 10% prevention of postoperative recurrence in CD, 10% fistulising CD and 3.3% extra intestinal manifestation. Adverse events occurred in 33.3% patients, requiring discontinuation of treatment in 13.3%. Clinical remission rate was 75% in the 28 patients that completed six months treatment (p equal 0.0013): 76.5% for SD/SR disease; 100% for prevention of postoperative recurrence and extra intestinal manifestation; 0% for fistulising CD. The proportion of patients remaining in remission at 12, 24, 36 and 48 months treatment were 87.5% (p lower 0,001), 46.7%, 45.5% e 14.3% (p higher 0,05), respectively.Azathioprine can be considered safe in a long term treatment and showed efficacy in induction and maintaining of remission at 12 months.

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