Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 394–397 | Cite as

Intermittent therapy with high-dose 5-aminosalicylic acid enemas for maintaining remission in ulcerative proctosigmoiditis

  • Giuseppe d'Albasio
  • Giacomo Trallori
  • Augusto Ghetti
  • Monica Milla
  • Andrea Nucci
  • Franco Pacini
  • Antonio Morettini
Original Contributions


Sixty patients who had presented recently with a relapse of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis with rectosigmoid involvement were randomly assigned to treatment with either 5-aminosalicylic acid enemas (N=29) or oral sulfasalazine (N=31). All patients were in remission, which was documented by clinical, histologic, and endoscopic criteria. Five-aminosalicylic acid treatment was administered on an intermittent schedule, consisting of 4 gm daily for the first seven days of each month; sulfasalazine was given as continuous therapy (2 gm daily as oral tablets). The study period was 2 years. Overall, 9 relapses occurred in the 5-aminosalicylic acid group and 12 occurred in the sulfasalazine group. The actuarial relapse rate at 12 months was 20 percent in the 5-aminosalicylic acid group and 24 percent in the sulfasalazine group; at 24 months, these rates were 37 and 43 percent, respectively. The actuarial relapse curves of the two groups were very similar. The relapse severity was also similar between the two groups. These results show that the authors proposed schedule of maintenance treatment with high-dose 5-aminosalicylic acid enemas is effective in subjects with rectosigmoiditis. This form of intermittent therapy may therefore be proposed for maintaining remission in patients who are refractory to oral and/or rectal treatment with sulfasalazine and steroids or who are intolerant or allergic to sulfasalazine. Treatment with 5-aminosalicylic acid enemas for seven days each month can also constitute an alternative for patients who favor the intermittent schedule over the classic continuous regimen of oral administrations.

Key words

Ulcerative colitis 5-Aminosalicylic acid Sulfasalazine 


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Copyright information

© American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe d'Albasio
    • 1
  • Giacomo Trallori
    • 1
  • Augusto Ghetti
    • 1
  • Monica Milla
    • 1
  • Andrea Nucci
    • 1
  • Franco Pacini
    • 1
  • Antonio Morettini
    • 1
  1. 1.Divisione di GastroenterologiaOspedale di CareggiFlorenceItaly

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