Allopurinol in addition to 5-aminosalicylic acid based drugs for the maintenance treatment of ulcerative colitis

G Järnerot, M Ström, A Danielsson, A Kilander, L Lööf, R Hultcrantz, R Löfberg, C Florén, A Nilsson, O Broström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: To investigate the value of combined treatment with allopurinol and 5-aminosalicylic (5-ASA) based drugs as maintenance treatment for ulcerative colitis (UC).

METHODS: 199 patients with UC in remission but with active disease during the preceding 3 years were included. Allopurinol 100 mg twice daily or placebo was added to the 5-ASA based maintenance treatment. Clinical and endoscopic follow up was performed after 1, 6 and 12 months.

RESULTS: Intention-to-treat analysis after 6 and 12 months showed similar results in both groups. A log-rank test showed that 77% in the allopurinol compared to 59% in the placebo group were still in remission after 6 months (P=0.0083) and 62% and 53% after 12 months, respectively (P=0.0936). This was mainly due to a higher than expected number of relapses during the first 3 months in the placebo group. After the first 3 months, the rate of relapse in each group was similar.

CONCLUSIONS: It appears possible that allopurinol in combination with 5-ASA is better than 5-ASA alone for a 6-month, but not a 12-month period. This has to be verified in further dose-ranging studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-62
Number of pages4
JournalAlimentary pharmacology & therapeutics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Sept
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Free keywords

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Allopurinol/administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/administration & dosage
  • Antimetabolites/administration & dosage
  • Colitis, Ulcerative/drug therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesalamine/administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Sweden


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