Published online Apr 21, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.1799
Revised: February 19, 2009
Accepted: February 26, 2009
Published online: April 21, 2009
5-aminosalicylate (5-ASA) agents remain the mainstay treatment in ulcerative colitis (UC). A number of oral 5-ASA agents are commercially available, including azobond pro-drugs, as well as delayed- and controlled-release forms of mesalazine. However, poor adherence due to frequent daily dosing and a large number of tablets has been shown to be an important barrier to successful management of patients with UC. Recently, new, once-daily formulations of mesalazine, including the unique multi-matrix delivery system and mesalazine granules, were proven to be efficacious in inducing and maintaining remission in mild-to-moderate UC, with a good safety profile comparable to that of other oral mesalazine formulations. In addition, they offer the advantage of a low pill burden and might contribute to increased long-term compliance and treatment success in clinical practice. This editorial summarizes the available literature on the short- and medium-term efficacy and safety of the new once-daily mesalazine formulations.