Medication-taking behavior in a cohort of patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Dig Dis Sci. 2006 Dec;51(12):2165-9. doi: 10.1007/s10620-006-9444-2. Epub 2006 Nov 4.


Recent studies have shown a low adherence rate to maintenance treatment in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We sought to assess the medication-taking behavior in a cohort of patients with IBD. We prospectively included IBD patients from the outpatient clinic who agreed to answer a questionnaire about prescribed treatment and adherence. Physicians registered clinical data including prescribed medications. Two hundred fourteen patients (115 Crohn's disease/99 ulcerative colitis) were included. The most prescribed medications were oral mesalazine (56.5%) and immunomodulators (41.1%). Forty-three percent of patients admitted to occasionally forgetting to take their medication but only 7.5% of them did it voluntary. Oral mesalazine and azathioprine were the drugs with the poorest compliance, with nonadherence rates of 45% and 25% of the total prescribed doses, respectively. The only factor associated with a better adherence was a more complicated course of the disease-steroid dependency, steroid refractoriness, need for infliximab treatment, hospitalization, or surgery (P=.02). Twenty percent of patients admitted to self-medicating. An important proportion of patients with IBD admit to forget some doses of the prescribed medication in the setting of a specialized unit of a referral centre.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Azathioprine / administration & dosage
  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Mesalamine / administration & dosage
  • Mesalamine / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance* / psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Medication
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Mesalamine
  • Azathioprine