Background: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory disease with relapses. Many patients need systemic corticosteroids to induce clinical remission.
Aim: Efficacy and safety of Budesonide-MMX® 9 mg tablets, a new oral, extended-release formulation, were evaluated in patients suffering from active, left-sided UC with colitis activity index (CAI) <14.
Methods: 36 patients were treated once daily for 4 weeks with Budesonide-MMX® 9 mg tablets or placebo. In an additional 4-week period, all patients received Budesonide-MMX®. CAI, endoscopic index and histology were assessed after 4 and 8 weeks. Primary end-point was remission, and/or CAI reduction by 50% after 4 weeks. Morning cortisol was assayed after 4 and 8 weeks, and a short ACTH-test was performed at week 8.
Results: 32 patients were analysed. After 4 weeks, 47.1% of the patients in the Budesonide-MMX® 9 mg tablets group achieved the primary end-point vs. 33.3% of patients on placebo. In addition, 47.1% of budesonide patients and another 33.3% of placebo recipients improved without remission by 4 weeks. The CAI reduction was significant with Budesonide (p<0.0001) tablets and not with placebo (p=0.1). Neither morning cortisol nor pituitary-adrenal axis was more frequently suppressed with Budesonide tablets than with placebo.
Conclusions: Budesonide-MMX® 9 mg tablets induced a fast and significant clinical improvement of active left-sided UC without suppression of adrenocortical functions and without important toxicity EudraCT number 2004-000896-33.
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