Maintenance

Four out of six studies demonstrated that 5-ASA is superior to placebo in remission maintenance at 6-12 months [10-15]. In a meta-analysis of randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials with a duration of at least 6 months, 5-ASA was able to halve the number of relapses compared to placebo, with a number needed to treat of 6 to prevent one relapse [6]. Sulfasalazine and 5-ASA have similar efficacy in long-term maintenance remission and the choice among the drugs should be based on factors such as cost or tolerance. For maintenance therapy, doses of 5-ASA ranged between 2 to 4.4 g/day. In the acute phase, while disease extension did not influence the efficacy in maintaining remission [16], no information exists on the different effects of various ASA formulations.

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