Antibiotics and Probiotics in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Why, When, and How

Cosimo Prantera; Maria Lia Scribano


Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2009;25(4):329-333. 

In This Article

Antibiotics and Ulcerative Colitis

In the last year no relevant paper has been published on the use of antibiotics and probiotics in ulcerative colitis. A recent consensus by the European Crohn's and Colitis Organization (ECCO) concluded that antibiotics were not useful in ulcerative colitis treatment except metro, which is used on empirical grounds in cases of severe colitis.[25•] Nevertheless, a meta-analysis published in 2007 seems to contradict this conclusion.[26] Ten placebo-controlled trials were included in this systematic review, and 530 patients were analysed. Different single antibiotics or combinations of the same were utilized. Remission was obtained in 72% of patients on antibiotics in comparison to 55% treated with placebo [odds ratio (OR) of 2.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.48–3.09, P < 0.0001]. However, the studies were not homogeneous, because various antibiotics were administered for a different period of time and some patients received concomitant drugs. These discrepancies could have altered the final results.


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