Azathioprine in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease: An italian multicentre survey

A. Barabino, F. Torrente, A. Ventura, S. Cucchiara, M. Castro, C. Barbera

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Abstract

Aim: To assess the efficacy and safety of azathioprine in a paediatric population with inflammatory bowel disease. Patients and methods: One hundred and twenty-three Italian children treated with azathioprine were studied retrospectively. The treatment duration and causes of its discontinuation, side-effects and variation in corticosteroid dose were assessed. Results: The mean age at inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis was 9.8 ± 3.6 years, and at the start of azathioprine therapy 11.8 ± 4.3 years. The mean duration of treatment was 19 ± 16 months. Fifty patients (41%) stopped treatment due to surgery (12%), prolonged remission (11%), non-response (7%), severe side-effects (7%) and poor compliance (3%). Of the 73 patients (59%) remaining on azathioprine. 11 had never been treated with corticosteroids, 27 were able to stop them and 35 were still on a very low daily dose (91% <0.3 mg/kg). The difference in the daily corticosteroid dose between the beginning of azathioprine treatment (1 ± 0.6 mg/kg) and the conclusion of the study (0.18 ± 0.16 mg/kg) was statistically significant. Side-effects were recorded in 48 of the 123 patients (39%), but only eight required discontinuation of azathioprine. Conclusions: Azathioprine was efficacious in 70% of patients, but ineffective in 20% and induced severe toxicity in 7%. Corticosteroids were stopped or markedly reduced in 62% of patients, but they were never given in 9%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1130
Number of pages6
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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Azathioprine
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Pediatrics
Adrenal Cortex Hormones
Therapeutics
Surveys and Questionnaires
Safety
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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Azathioprine in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease : An italian multicentre survey. / Barabino, A.; Torrente, F.; Ventura, A.; Cucchiara, S.; Castro, M.; Barbera, C.

In: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Vol. 16, No. 6, 2002, p. 1125-1130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Barabino, A. ; Torrente, F. ; Ventura, A. ; Cucchiara, S. ; Castro, M. ; Barbera, C. / Azathioprine in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease : An italian multicentre survey. In: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2002 ; Vol. 16, No. 6. pp. 1125-1130.
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