Review article: monitoring of immunomodulators in inflammatory bowel disease

Authors

  • F. N. Aberra,

    1. Department of Medicine, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, 3400 Spruce Street, 3rd floor Ravdin Building, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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  • G. R. Lichtenstein

    1. Department of Medicine, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, 3400 Spruce Street, 3rd floor Ravdin Building, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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Dr G. R. Lichtenstein, Department of Medicine, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, 3400 Spruce Street, 3rd floor Ravdin Building, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283, USA.
E-mail: grl@uphs.upenn.edu

Summary

The armamentarium of medications for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease is growing and becoming more complicated to use. Immunomodulators are a class of medications that have found a niche for the treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Because of the mounting supporting evidence for efficacy, the most commonly-used immunomodulators are azathioprine, mercaptopurine, methotrexate and ciclosporin. These medications are being used more often due to their steroid-sparing and potentially surgery-sparing effects. Immunomodulators are also known for a significant side-effect profile and require careful monitoring. This review provides the latest information for clinicians on efficacy, side-effects, dosing and monitoring of these medications for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

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