Tacrolimus in corticosteroid-resistant ulcerative colitis
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We report a case of refractory ulcerative colitis treated with tacrolimus. The patient was a 73-year-old woman with a 45-year history of ulcerative colitis. An attack unresponsive to intravenous corticosteroid therapy occurred when she was age 73. Leukocytapheresis therapy was attempted, but was discontinued because of the patient's poor general condition. Cyclosporine A therapy brought about fair control of the disease. A liver injury that was suspected to be associated with this agent, however, occurred within 5 weeks of its initiation. At that time, the cyclosporine A was discontinued and azathioprine treatment was started. Within 6 weeks, signs of exacerbation of the ulcerative colitis became apparent. Tacrolimus administered at that time brought about remission of the disease, and the corticosteroid dose was then reduced. Tacrolimus, like cyclosporine A, appears to be effective for the treatment of attacks of ulcerative colitis.
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