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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 7 (1998), Issue 3, Pages 137-140

The use of oral topically acting glucocorticosteroids in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, Leuven 3000, Belgium

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glucocorticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment of active Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These drugs however carry important cosmetic short-term side effects and when used long-term they induce severe irreversible complications. Topically acting glucocorticosteroids, especially budesonide, have been designed to achieve local effect at the site of inflammation without systemic effects of the drug. The first results of clinical trials are promising and budesonide has been shown to have an improved safety with almost comparable efficacy in comparison with prednisolone. The optimal enema dose seems to be 2 mg/100 ml at night whereas 9 mg o.m. is the optimal dose to treat ileal or right ileocolonic Crohn's disease. Topically acting GCS, like standard GCS are not effective for maintenance of remission of Crohn's disease or recurrence prevention after resection of the involved Crohn's segment.