The cumulative probabilities of a requirement for corticosteroid at 5 and 10 years were 24.9% and 75.8% in the 5-ASA+AZA/ 6-MP
group and 31.2% and 87.8% in the AZA/6-MP group, respectively.
AZA and 6-MP
are inactive molecules that require bioactivation via a complex enzymatic metabolism.
Case 1.--A 38-year-old man with ulcerative colitis receiving 6-MP
monotherapy underwent a liver biopsy for elevated aminotransferases.
The incidence of prematurity was about 70% higher among the women treated with azathioprine or 6-MP
, compared with another control group of healthy women who were not treated with the drug.
The use of AZA or 6-MP
and the dosing of the drug were at the discretion of the patient's gastroenterologist.
Prior to the signing of the settlement agreement, Prometheus had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Specialty alleging that the use or sale of Specialty's 6-MP
Drug MonitR assay infringed certain of Prometheus' patent rights.
In the patients who had colectomies, 13 (54%) of 24 received 6-MP
or azathioprine: 5 patients used the immunosuppressives a median of 9 months before cyclosporine, 3 patients used them during cyclosporine treatment, and 5 began them a median of 21 days after cyclosporine therapy.
A metaanalysis was performed in 2000 to evaluate treatment with 6-MP
, compared with placebo, for inducing remission.
Azathioprine (Imuran[R]) and 6-MP
are not considered therapeutic options in patients with mild disease.
Other medications include azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP
), immunosupressive drugs which have been successful in reducing symptoms, closing fistulae, and reducing or eliminating the dependence on corticosteroids in some patients.
The maintenance therapy was given with 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP
) 50 mg/[m.sup.2]/day, methotrexate (MTX) 15 mg/[m.sup.2]/day plus ATRA 45 mg/[m.sup.2] orally every other week for 24 months.
Treatment of chronic active Crohn disease with azathioprine (AZA)  or 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP
) is effective in both inducing and maintaining remission in steroid-dependent and steroid-resistant patients (1-3).