Mercaptopurine (6-MP) is effective in the treatment of Crohn's disease when used in conjunction with corticosteroids.
In this study, doctors from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine reviewed 24 patients who were treated with 6-MP but had not received any steroid treatment at any time.
The team evaluated overall response, and analyzed the data according to the indication for treatment.
The time to relapse and the treatments required were also noted.
|Remission or significant improvement occurred in 83%.|
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
The doctors found that remission or significant improvement occurred in 83%.
Of these 20 patients, 29% achieved complete remission and 54% demonstrated significant clinical improvement.
When the data were analyzed by indication, 89% of the patients treated for disease activity, 100% of patients treated for fistula alone, and 50% of patients treated for both, responded.
The team found that 13 of the 20 patients who improved eventually relapsed. This was usually due to the discontinuation of treatment. They determined that relapse was less frequent if patients continued 6-MP.
Many treatment of relapses required only antibiotics, and/or restarting 6-MP.
Dr Eric Goldstein's team concluded, "6-MP is an effective medication for use in steroid-naive patients and is likely to be effective in patients who have received steroids in the past but are not currently receiving them".
"Relapses occur despite continued therapy, but are often easily treated, and do not require initiating steroids".