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(1/466) Is maintenance therapy always necessary for patients with ulcerative colitis in remission?

BACKGROUND: The efficacy of sulphasalazine and mesalazine in preventing relapse in patients with ulcerative colitis is well known. It is less clear how long such maintenance should be continued, and if the duration of disease remission is a factor that affects the risk of recurrence. AIM: To determine whether the duration of disease remission affects the relapse rate, by comparing the efficacy of a delayed-release mesalazine (Asacol, Bracco S.p.A., Milan, Italy) against placebo in patients with ulcerative colitis with short- and long-duration of disease remission. METHODS: 112 patients (66 male, 46 female, mean age 35 years), with intermittent chronic ulcerative colitis in clinical, endoscopic and histological remission with sulphasalazine or mesalazine for at least 1 year, were included in the study. Assuming that a lower duration of remission might be associated with a higher relapse rate, the patients were stratified according to the length of their disease remission, prior to randomization into Group A (Asacol 26, placebo 35) in remission from 1 to 2 years, or Group B (Asacol 28, placebo 23) in remission for over 2 years, median 4 years. Patients were treated daily with oral Asacol 1.2 g vs. placebo, for a follow-up period of 1 year. RESULTS: We employed an intention-to-treat analysis. In Group A, whilst no difference was found between the two treatments after 6 months, mesalazine was significantly more effective than placebo in preventing relapse at 12 months [Asacol 6/26 (23%), placebo 17/35 (49%), P = 0.035, 95% Cl: 48-2.3%]. In contrast, in Group B no statistically significant difference was observed between the two treatments, either at 6 or 12 months [Asacol 5/28 (18%), placebo 6/23 (26%), P = 0.35, 95% Cl: 31-14%] of follow-up. Patients in group B were older, and had the disease and remission duration for longer, than those in Group A. CONCLUSIONS: Mesalazine prophylaxis is necessary for the prevention of relapse by patients with ulcerative colitis in remission for less than 2 years, but this study casts doubt over whether continuous maintenance treatment is necessary in patients with prolonged clinical, endoscopic and histological remission, who are at very low risk of relapse.  (+info)

(2/466) Evaluation of 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) for cancer chemoprevention: lack of efficacy against nascent adenomatous polyps in the Apc(Min) mouse.

Recent experimental and epidemiological evidence suggests that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective in the prevention of colorectal cancer. However, the toxicity associated with the long-term use of most classical NSAIDs has limited their usefulness for the purpose of cancer chemoprevention. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, in particular, are sensitive to the adverse side effects of NSAIDs, and these patients also have an increased risk for the development of intestinal cancer. 5-Aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) is an anti-inflammatory drug commonly used in the treatment of IBD and may provide protection against the development of colorectal cancer in these patients. To directly evaluate the ability of 5-ASA to suppress intestinal tumors, we studied several formulations of 5-ASA (free acid, sulfasalazine, and Pentasa) at multiple oral dosage levels [500, 2400, 4800, and 9600 parts/million (ppm)] in the adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) mouse model of multiple intestinal neoplasia (Min). Although the ApcMin mouse is not a model of colitis-associated neoplasia, it is, nonetheless, a useful model for assessing the ability of anti-inflammatory agents to prevent tumor formation in a genetically preinitiated population of cells. We used a study design in which drug was provided ad libitum through the diet beginning at the time of weaning (28 days of age) until 100 days of age. We included 200 ppm of piroxicam and 160 ppm of sulindac as positive controls, and the negative control was AIN-93G diet alone. Treatment with either piroxicam or sulindac produced statistically significant reductions in intestinal tumor multiplicity (95% and 83% reductions in tumor number, respectively; P < 0.001 versus controls). By contrast, none of the 5-ASA drug formulations or dosage levels produced consistent dose-progressive changes in polyp number, distribution, or size, despite high luminal and serum concentrations of 5-ASA and its primary metabolite N-acetyl-5-ASA. Thus, 5-ASA does not seem to possess direct chemosuppressive activity against the development of nascent intestinal adenomas in the ApcMin mouse. However, because intestinal tumor development in the ApcMin mouse is driven by a germline mutation in the Apc gene rather than by chronic inflammation, we caution that these findings do not definitively exclude the possibility that 5-ASA may exert a chemopreventive effect in human IBD patients.  (+info)

(3/466) Does sulphasalazine cause drug induced systemic lupus erythematosus? No effect evident in a prospective randomised trial of 200 rheumatoid patients treated with sulphasalazine or auranofin over five years.

BACKGROUND: Sulphasalazine (SSZ) has been reported to cause drug induced systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but diagnosis of this complication in the context of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is difficult. OBJECTIVE: To determine prospectively: (1) if patients become seropositive for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) during prolonged treatment with SSZ without clinical evidence of SLE; (2) if ANA positive patients develop more adverse reactions than ANA negative patients; (3) if drug induced SLE was identified in this cohort. METHODS: 200 patients enrolled in a randomised prospective trial of SSZ and auranofin (AUR) were followed up for five years. Baseline and annual ANA results were collected along with information on drug toxicity and reasons for discontinuation of treatment. RESULTS: Over five years 24 patients stopped taking SSZ and 49 AUR because of side effects. Of the features common to SLE, rash developed in nine SSZ patients and 11 AUR treated patients and mouth ulcers in three and four patients respectively. Six SSZ treated patients and three treated with AUR developed leucopenia, which promptly resolved with drug withdrawal. No adverse event was ascribed to drug induced SLE. Of the 72 SSZ treated patients who were ANA negative or weakly positive at outset, 14 (19%) became strongly ANA positive compared with 11 (14%) of 80 AUR patients. Patients ANA positive at baseline or who became ANA positive were not more likely to develop drug toxicity or to withdraw from treatment than those ANA negative throughout. CONCLUSION: ANA positivity is common in patients with RA, but the presence or development of ANA did not increase the likelihood of withdrawing from treatment. No case of drug induced SLE was seen over five years in this study.  (+info)

(4/466) Colonic ulceration caused by administration of loxoprofen sodium.

A 54-year-old female with chronic headache was admitted to our hospital because of hematochezia. She had routinely taken loxoprofen sodium because of severe headache. Emergent colonoscopic examination revealed ulceration of the cecum. After administration of loxoprofen sodium was discontinued and administration of sulfasalazine was initiated, her intestinal bleeding subsided. Two months after discontinuation of loxoprofen sodium, the colonoscopic examination revealed scar formation at the site of cecal ulceration. In this case, it was conceivable that the administration of loxoprofen sodium might have induced colonic ulceration.  (+info)

(5/466) Salicylates and sulfasalazine, but not glucocorticoids, inhibit leukocyte accumulation by an adenosine-dependent mechanism that is independent of inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis and p105 of NFkappaB.

The antiinflammatory action of aspirin generally has been attributed to direct inhibition of cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2), but additional mechanisms are likely at work. These include aspirin's inhibition of NFkappaB translocation to the nucleus as well as the capacity of salicylates to uncouple oxidative phosphorylation (i.e., deplete ATP). At clinically relevant doses, salicylates cause cells to release micromolar concentrations of adenosine, which serves as an endogenous ligand for at least four different types of well-characterized receptors. Previously, we have shown that adenosine mediates the antiinflammatory effects of other potent and widely used antiinflammatory agents, methotrexate and sulfasalazine, both in vitro and in vivo. To determine in vivo whether clinically relevant levels of salicylate act via adenosine, via NFkappaB, or via the "inflammatory" cyclooxygenase COX-2, we studied acute inflammation in the generic murine air-pouch model by using wild-type mice and mice rendered deficient in either COX-2 or p105, the precursor of p50, one of the components of the multimeric transcription factor NFkappaB. Here, we show that the antiinflammatory effects of aspirin and sodium salicylate, but not glucocorticoids, are largely mediated by the antiinflammatory autacoid adenosine independently of inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis by COX-1 or COX-2 or of the presence of p105. Indeed, both inflammation and the antiinflammatory effects of aspirin and sodium salicylate were independent of the levels of prostaglandins at the inflammatory site. These experiments also provide in vivo confirmation that the antiinflammatory effects of glucocorticoids depend, in part, on the p105 component of NFkappaB.  (+info)

(6/466) Influence of sulphasalazine, methotrexate, and the combination of both on plasma homocysteine concentrations in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

OBJECTIVE: To study the influence of sulphasalazine (SSZ), methotrexate (MTX), and the combination (COMBI) of both on plasma homocysteine and to study the relation between plasma homocysteine and their clinical effects. METHODS: 105 patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were randomised between SSZ (2-3 g/day), MTX (7.5-15 mg/week), and the COMBI (same dose range) and evaluated double blindly during 52 weeks. Plasma homocysteine, serum folate concentrations, and vitamin B12 were measured. The influence of the C677T mutation of the enzyme methyl-enetetrahydrofolatereductase (MTHFR) gene was analysed. RESULTS: A slight trend towards increased efficacy and an increased occurrence of minor gastrointestinal toxicity was present in the COMBI group, no differences existed clinically between SSZ and MTX. Only a slight and temporary increase in plasma homocysteine was found in the SSZ group, in contrast with the persistent rise in the MTX group and the even greater increase in the COMBI patients. Patients homozygous for the mutation in the MTHFR gene had significantly higher baseline homocysteine, heterozygous MTHFR genotype induced a significantly higher plasma homoeysteine at week 52 compared with no mutation. No correlation was found between clinical efficacy variables and homocysteine. Patients with gastrointestinal toxicity had a significantly greater increase in homocysteine. CONCLUSION: A persistent increase in plasma homocysteine concentrations was observed in patients treated with MTX alone and more pronounced in combination with SSZ, in contrast with SSZ alone. An increase in plasma homocysteine is related to the C677T mutation in MTHFR. A relation in the change in homocysteine concentrations with (gastrointestinal) toxicity was found, no relation with clinical efficacy existed.  (+info)

(7/466) Combination therapy in early rheumatoid arthritis: a randomised, controlled, double blind 52 week clinical trial of sulphasalazine and methotrexate compared with the single components.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the potential clinical benefit of a combination therapy. METHODS: 205 patients fulfilling the ACR criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), not treated with disease modifying antirheumatoid drugs previously, with an early (< or = 1 year duration), active (Disease Activity Score (DAS) > 3.0), rheumatoid factor and/or HLA DR 1/4 positive disease were randomised between sulphasalazine (SASP) 2000 (maximum 3000) mg daily (n = 68), or methotrexate (MTX) 7.5 (maximum 15) mg weekly (n = 69) or the combination (SASP + MTX) of both (n = 68). RESULTS: The mean changes in the DAS during the one year follow up of the study was -1.15, -0.87, -1.26 in the SASP, MTX, and SASP + MTX group respectively (p = 0.019). However, there was no statistically significant difference in terms of either EULAR good responders 34%, 38%, 38% or ACR criteria responders 59%, 59%, 65% in the SASP, MTX, and SASP + MTX group respectively. Radiological progression evaluated by the modified Sharp score was very modest in the three groups: mean changes in erosion score: +2.4, +2.4, +1.9, in narrowing score: +2.3, +2.1, +1.6 and in total damage score: +4.6, +4.5, +3.5, in the SASP, MTX, and SASP + MTX groups respectively. Adverse events occurred more frequently in the SASP + MTX group 91% versus 75% in the SASP and MTX group (p = 0.025). Nausea was the most frequent side effect: 32%, 23%, 49% in the SASP, MTX, and SASP + MTX groups respectively (p = 0.007). CONCLUSION: This study suggests that an early initiation therapy of disease modifying drug seems to be of benefit. However, this study was unable to demonstrate a clinically relevant superiority of the combination therapy although several outcomes were in favour of this observation. The tolerability of the three treatment modalities seems acceptable.  (+info)

(8/466) Giant cell arteritis associated with rheumatoid arthritis monitored by magnetic resonance angiography.

A 57-year-old Japanese woman with well controlled rheumatoid arthritis visited our hospital with a severe bitemporal headache and marked fatigue. Based on the classification criteria by the American College of Rheumatology, she was diagnosed as having giant cell arteritis. Magnetic resonance (MR) angiography was performed, from which stenotic changes in the bilateral superficial temporal arteries were strongly suspected. Corticosteroid therapy was quickly started. The patient followed an uneventful course with no complications. Therapeutic effect was confirmed by MR angiographic findings obtained 4 weeks after the initiation of therapy.  (+info)