Budesonide treatment is associated with increased bile acid absorption in collagenous colitis

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Dec;24(11-12):1643-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.03168.x. Epub 2006 Nov 10.


Background: Bile acid malabsorption is frequent in collagenous colitis and harmful bile acids may play a pathophysiological role. Glucocorticoids increase ileal bile acid transport. Budesonide have its main effect in the terminal ileum.

Aims: To evaluate whether the symptomatic effect of budesonide is linked to increased uptake of bile acids.

Methods: Patients with collagenous colitis were treated with budesonide 9 mg daily for 12 weeks. Prior to and after 8 weeks of treatment, the (75)SeHCAT test, an indirect test for the active uptake of bile acid-s, measurements of serum 7alpha-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one, an indicator of hepatic bile acid synthesis, and registration of symptoms were performed.

Results: The median (75)SeHCAT retention increased from 18% to 35% (P < 0.001, n = 25) approaching the values of healthy controls (38%). The 7alpha-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one values decreased significantly among those with initially high synthesis (from 36 to 23 ng/mL, P = 0.04, n = 9); however, for the whole group the values were not altered (19 ng/mL vs. 13 ng/mL, P = 0.23, N.S., n = 19).

Conclusion: The normalization of the (75)SeHCAT test and the reduction of bile acid synthesis in patients with initially high synthetic rate, suggests that the effect of budesonide in collagenous colitis may be in part due to decreased bile acid load on the colon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • Budesonide / adverse effects*
  • Colitis, Collagenous / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Budesonide