Budesonide Found Effective for Lymphocytic Colitis

Most patients achieve clinical remission after six weeks and can be retreated if relapse occurs

FRIDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with lymphocytic colitis, oral budesonide treatment is effective in leading to clinical remission, according to a study published in the June issue of Gastroenterology.

Stephan Miehlke, M.D., of Technical University Hospital in Dresden, Germany, and colleagues randomly assigned 42 patients (median age, 61) with lymphocytic colitis and chronic diarrhea to receive either budesonide or placebo for six weeks. They also administered open-label budesonide to non-responders for an additional six weeks.

After six weeks, the researchers found that budesonide was associated with a significantly higher remission rate than placebo (86 versus 48 percent). They also observed remission in seven of the eight placebo patients who received open-label budesonide. During the 14-month follow-up, they retreated eight of the 15 patients who relapsed with budesonide, all of whom responded.

"Which mechanisms may be responsible for the beneficial effect of budesonide in lymphocytic colitis?" the authors write. "One hypothesis could be that in lymphocytic colitis, the histopathology may be more pronounced in the right colon and may also affect the ileum to some extent, anatomical regions where budesonide exerts its anti-inflammatory properties most."

This study was supported by Dr. Falk Pharma GmbH, and several authors reported financial relationships with that company.

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