Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral budesonide for maintenance of remission in patients with mild to moderately active Crohn's disease (CD) of the ileum and/or ascending colon.
Methods: Four double-blind, placebo-controlled trials with identical protocols were combined according to a predetermined analysis plan. Three hundred eighty patients with CD in medically induced remission (CD activity index [CDAI]< or =150) were randomized to receive oral budesonide 3 mg, 6 mg, or placebo daily for 12 months. The primary outcome measure was time to relapse (increase in CDAI of 60 points above baseline and >150).
Results: The median time to relapse was 268, 170, and 154 days for budesonide 6 mg, budesonide 3 mg, and placebo groups, respectively (p= 0.0072). The frequency of adverse events and glucocorticosteroid side effects were similar in all groups.
Conclusion: Budesonide 6 mg/day is effective for prolonging time to relapse and for significantly reducing rates of relapse at 3 and 6 months but not 12 months in patients with CD in medically induced remission.