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Are Steroids Used Too Much for Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Steroid therapy is commonly used to treat acute attacks of the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; however, because it does not provide long-term benefits and it carries a risk of serious side effects, it should not be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease for more than three months. In a large study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers at 19 centres in the UK report that, among 2,385 patients with inflammatory bowel disease, 14.8% showed evidence of steroid excess or dependency, and the steroid excess was judged avoidable in over 50% of cases.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:01 am EDT
"Looking at steroid prescribing for inflammatory bowel disease and trying to reduce steroid excess can be a powerful way to improve patient care and outcomes"

Steroid therapy is commonly used to treat acute attacks of the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; however, because it does not provide long-term benefits and it carries a risk of serious side effects, it should not be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease for more than three months. In a large study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers at 19 centres in the UK report that, among 2,385 patients with inflammatory bowel disease, 14.8% showed evidence of steroid excess or dependency, and the steroid excess was judged avoidable in over 50% of cases.

The seven centres that had participated in a quality improvement programme had significantly fewer patients (11.5% versus 17.1%) receiving excess steroids.

“Looking at steroid prescribing for inflammatory bowel disease and trying to reduce steroid excess can be a powerful way to improve patient care and outcomes,” said lead author Christian P. Selinger, MD, MSc, MRCP, of St. James University Hospital.

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apt.15497

About Journal 

Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics is an international journal of gastroenterology and hepatology.

The journal accepts systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomised controlled trials and original papers concerned with Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

AP&T is particularly interested in therapies and diagnostics, including all aspects of translation from bench to bedside: identification of novel therapeutic targets, epidemiology, clinical trials, drug safety and meta-analyses.

About Wiley

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