Searching for the Delta: 5-Aminosalicylic Acid Therapy for Crohn’s Disease

Abstract: Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory condition that often requires lifelong medical therapy for the induction and maintenance of remission. Oral mesalamine (5-aminosalicylic acid [5-ASA]) therapy has several forms, which can be categorized into oral formulations and prodrugs. The ability to demonstrate the efficacy of 5-ASA is limited in most clinical trials by the nonspecific endpoints of the Crohn’s Disease Activity Index. Overall, clinical trials have not shown 5-ASA therapy to be superior to placebo for the induction of remission, with the exception of sulfasalazine in colonic CD. 5-ASA therapy has also not been shown to be superior to placebo for maintenance of medically induced remission; however, mesalamine may have a modest effect in surgically induced remission. Further research is needed regarding the optimal monitoring and therapy for patients with mild CD who often achieve remission with placebo in clinical trials.

Millennium Medical Publishing, Inc