Comparison of two dosing methods for induction of response and remission with oral budesonide in active pediatric Crohn's disease: A randomized placebo-controlled trial


  • The study was conceived and designed by Dr. Levine and funded by Dr. Falk Pharma; Dr. Levine wrote the article. Dr. Levine did not receive any personal funding, honorarium, or any other direct funding. Funds for designing and enrolling patients were paid to the research and clinical institutions involved and not directly to Dr. Levine.


Background: Oral budesonide has been found to be comparable to systemic corticosteroids in mild to moderately active Crohn's disease (CD). Remission rates in pediatric studies to date have been suboptimal (47%–55%), even though patients with colonic involvement were excluded in some studies. In addition, the optimal pediatric dosing regimen has never been evaluated before.

Methods: This was a randomized, controlled, double-blind study in 70 children with mild or moderately active CD randomized to 1 of 2 groups: Group 1: Standard dose budesonide (9 mg/day) for 7 weeks followed by 6 mg budesonide daily for an additional 3 weeks. Group 2: Induction with 12 mg/day for the first month followed by the same regimen as Group 1. Outcome measures included a decrease in Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index and remission rates. Patients with colonic disease were not excluded.

Results: At week 7 a clinical response was obtained in 51.4% in Group 1 versus 74.3% in Group 2. A significant decrease in C-reactive protein was seen only in Group 2. At the end of treatment, remission was obtained in 42.9% in Group 1 versus 65.7% in Group 2 (P = 0.054). There was no significant difference in adverse events or serum cortisol.

Conclusions: Use of an induction dose of budesonide followed by a budesonide taper resulted in a trend to higher rates of clinical remission and a decrease in inflammation, without an increase in steroid-associated side effects. Budesonide was also useful for patients with ileocolonic disease.

(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2009)