Budesonide Oral Suspension Improves Symptomatic, Endoscopic, and Histologic Parameters Compared With Placebo in Patients With Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Gastroenterology. 2017 Mar;152(4):776-786.e5. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2016.11.021. Epub 2016 Nov 23.


Background & aims: Pharmacologic treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is limited to off-label use of corticosteroids not optimized for esophageal delivery. We performed a randomized, controlled phase 2 trial to assess the ability of budesonide oral suspension (BOS), a novel muco-adherent topical steroid formulation, to reduce symptoms and esophageal eosinophilia in adolescents and adults with EoE.

Methods: In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial, 93 EoE patients between the ages of 11 and 40 years with dysphagia and active esophageal eosinophilia were randomized to receive either BOS 2 mg or placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. Co-primary outcomes were change in Dysphagia Symptom Questionnaire (DSQ) score from baseline, and proportion of patients with a histologic response (≤6 eosinophils/high-power field) after treatment. Endoscopic severity scores and safety parameters were assessed.

Results: At baseline, mean DSQ scores were 29.3 and 29.0, and mean peak eosinophil counts were 156 and 130 per hpf in the BOS and placebo groups, respectively. After treatment, DSQ scores were 15.0 and 21.5, and mean peak eosinophil counts were 39 and 113 per high-power field, respectively (P < .05 for all). For BOS vs placebo, change in DSQ score was -14.3 vs -7.5 (P = .0096), histologic response rates were 39% vs 3% (P < .0001), and change in endoscopic severity score was -3.8 vs 0.4 (P < .0001). Adverse events were similar between groups.

Conclusions: Treatment with BOS was well tolerated in adolescent and young adult patients with EoE and resulted in improvement in symptomatic, endoscopic, and histologic parameters using validated outcome instruments. ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT01642212.

Keywords: Corticosteroids; Dysphagia; Eosinophilic Esophagitis; Patient-Reported Outcomes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Budesonide / administration & dosage
  • Budesonide / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Count
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / drug therapy*
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis / pathology*
  • Eosinophils
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Suspensions
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Suspensions
  • Budesonide

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01642212