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A double-blind comparison of balsalazide, 6.75 g daily, and sulfasalazine, 3 g daily, in patients with newly diagnosed or relapsed active ulcerative colitis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John Mansfield


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Background: Sulfasalazine is well established in the treatment of active ulcerative colitis. Intolerance to sulfasalazine, however, is a common problem. Balsalazide has been designed to deliver 5-aminosalicylic acid to the colon without the poor tolerability of sulfasalazine. Aim: To compare the safety and efficacy of balsalazide, 6.75 g daily, with sulfasalazine, 3 g daily, in the treatment of active ulcerative colitis of all grades of severity. Methods: Balsalazide and sulfasalazine were compared in a multicentre, double-blind, parallel group study over 12 weeks. Patients were stratified for disease severity and topical and/or oral steroids were co-administered where clinically necessary. Results: Fifty-seven patients were randomized: 28 to receive balsalazide and 29 to receive sulfasalazine. Significantly fewer patients withdrew from the balsalazide group due to adverse events (2/28 vs. 9/29, P = 0.041). These data confirm that balsalazide is better tolerated than sulfasalazine. In patients able to tolerate the treatment, similar improvements were recorded in clinical, sigmoidoscopic and histological assessments in both treatment groups. Conclusions: This study confirms the better tolerability of balsalazide compared to sulfasalazine, and supports the use of balsalazide in ulcerative colitis of all grades of severity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mansfield JC; Green JRB; Gibson JA; Kerr GD; Thornton PC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Year: 2002

Volume: 16

Issue: 1

Pages: 61-68

ISSN (print): 0269-2813

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2036

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2002.01150.x


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