Mesalamine Suppositories Helpful in Ulcerative Colitis

June 25, 2013

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jun 25 - Mesalamine (mesalazine) suppositories are significantly more effective than placebo for rectal inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), Japanese researchers say.

Mesalamine suppositories are widely used for managing proctitis, as Dr. M. Watanabe of the Graduate School of Tokyo Medical and Dental University and colleagues noted online June 5th in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

In their new study, 129 patients with mild to moderate UC and rectal inflammation were randomly assigned to use either one mesalamine suppository (Pentasa, Ferring Pharmaceuticals) or one placebo suppository daily for four weeks.

At the end of the study, remission rates were significantly greater with active treatment (81.5% vs 29.7%). In patients with proctitis, the endoscopic remission rates were 83.8% and 36.1% with mesalamine vs placebo. For all other types of UC (e.g., pancolitis, left-sided colitis, and sigmoiditis), corresponding remission rates were 78.6% and 21.4%, respectively.

In addition, from day three until the end of treatment, the percentage of patients without bleeding was significantly higher in the mesalamine group.

Commenting on behalf of Dr. Watanabe, Kimihiko Daigo of Kyorin Pharmaceutical Co, Tokyo, which markets Ferring's Pentasa products in Japan, told Reuters Health by email, "Rectal bleeding will disappear in approximately 90% of patients after four weeks of treatment."

Overall, he concluded, "Mesalazine suppositories are very effective for all UC patients with rectal inflammation."

The Pentasa suppositories were approved for use in Japan on March 25th of this year. The study was funded by Kyorin, and Dr. Watanabe has a relationship with the company, as does another of the paper's authors.


Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2013.


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