Oral 5-aminosalicylic acid therapy for mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis


  • Disclosures
    The author discloses that Duncan Campbell, Catriona Scott, and Sarah Wright (GeoMed) provided editorial support, with funding from Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc. for the development of this article.

Jill Olmstead, MSN, NP-C, 1847 Sunnycrest Drive,
Fullerton, CA 92835. Tel: 714-446-7052;
Fax: 714-446-7051;
E-mail: olmsteadjill@yahoo.com


Purpose: 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) is the recommended first-line treatment for patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). These patients frequently fail to receive the full benefit from this treatment, often as a result of nonadherence to complex dosing regimens. The purpose of this review is to update nurse practitioners (NPs) on the available 5-ASA formulations for patients with UC and to explore the role of NPs in the effective use of these drugs in disease management.

Data sources: Pubmed and recent conference abstracts were searched for studies that examined either 5-ASA therapy in UC or the role of NPs in their treatment.

Conclusions: Patients frequently fail to adhere to their 5-ASA treatment regimens, perhaps owing to a lack of understanding about their disease, or a lack of awareness of their medical management options. The unique relationship between patients and NPs allow barriers to treatment success to be identified and overcome.

Implications for practice: For patients with UC, NPs are often a primary point of contact, and are therefore ideally placed to take steps to positively influence and change patient behavior.