Steroid treatment in active Crohn's disease: a comparison between two regimens of different duration

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1994 Aug;8(4):465-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.1994.tb00316.x.


Background: Steroids are highly effective in active Crohn's disease; clinical relapse following steroid withdrawal, however, is frequent. We used two steroid regimens of different duration in order to compare their efficacy in inducing and maintaining clinical remission.

Methods: Seventy patients with active Crohn's disease were treated with methylprednisolone 40 mg/day i.m. for 3 weeks and then with two different regimens of tapering dosage: one for a further 4 weeks and another for a further 12 weeks.

Results: Steroid therapy induced remission within 3 weeks in 91% of the whole group of patients; at the end of each protocol remission rates were 85% of patients in the group treated for the shorter period and 87% of those treated for the longer period (difference 2%, CI = -14 to 18, P = NS); remission rates within 6 months after stopping steroids were 53% and 37% respectively (difference 16%, CI = -9 to 41, P = NS).

Conclusions: No significant differences were found between the two regimens. Multiple courses of steroid treatment in the previous 3 years and a short time interval following previous steroid treatment seem to be risk factors for relapse.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Tables
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage*
  • Remission Induction
  • Risk Factors


  • Methylprednisolone