Is There a Role for Thiopurines in IBD?

Cross RK1, Herfarth H2,3. Am J Gastroenterol. 2018 Jun 27. doi: 10.1038/s41395-018-0175-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

1 Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, USA. rcross@medicine.umaryland.edu.

2 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

3 University of North Carolina Multidisciplinary Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


Immunosuppressive therapy (IM) is inexpensive and nearly one-third of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience a benefit from treatment. IM may be ideal for IBD patients at low risk for a disabling disease course or colectomy and/or those patients with inadequate access to biologic therapy. A majority of IBD patients benefit from early biologic therapy with improved short and likely long-term outcomes. Improved methods are needed to identify patients at the greatest risk for a severe disease course and that are likely to respond to the various forms of small molecule and biologic treatments. Health systems need to identify innovative methods to contain costs of biologic therapy.

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