Budesonide as maintenance treatment in Crohn's disease: a placebo-controlled trial


Dr S. B. Hanauer, Section of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, University of Chicago Medical Center, 5758 South Maryland Ave, MC9028, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
E-mail: shanauer@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu


Aim : To assess the efficacy and safety of budesonide capsules 6 mg daily for prolongation of time to relapse and maintenance of remission in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) affecting the ileum and/or ascending colon.

Methods : In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial, 110 patients with CD, who had previously achieved remission in a placebo-controlled trial of budesonide 9 mg daily, were randomly assigned to receive budesonide 6 mg once daily or placebo for 52 weeks. Primary outcome measure was time to relapse [CD activity index (CDAI) of >150 plus an increase of at least 60 points from study entry or withdrawal due to clinical deterioration].

Results : Median time to relapse was 360 days for budesonide patients; 169 days for placebo patients (P = 0.132). No significant differences were seen between groups in relapse rates at 1 year. Budesonide was safe and well tolerated, with a similar adverse events profile to placebo.

Conclusion : Patients treated with budesonide 6 mg once daily had a trend towards a prolonged time to relapse and lower CDAI scores compared with patients treated with placebo, but relapse rates were not significantly different at the 1-year end point.