Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis do perceive a benefit from thiopurine treatment. A report in the open access journal BMC Gastroenterology has demonstrated improved health-related quality of life in 92 IBD patients.
Guillermo Bastida worked with a team of researchers from La Fe Hospital, Valencia, Spain, to investigate the controversial thiopurine treatment. He said, "The efficacy of thiopurines in the scenarios in which they are prescribed, either to induce or to maintain remission in IBD, is well proven. Their effect on quality of life has been a cause for concern however, with some reports suggesting that they can cause patients to perceive their lives as being more difficult while under treatment. However, the available data were scarce, so we carried out this clinical trial to study the problem more closely".
Bastida and his colleagues report that after one year of treatment with thiopurines, quality of life had improved significantly compared with baseline and all the scores were higher than those obtained at six months.
The effects of thiopurine therapy on health-related quality of life in Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients, Guillermo Bastida, Pilar Nos, Mariam Aguas, Marisa Iborra, Vicente Ortiz, Vicente Garrigues and Julio Ponce, BMC Gastroenterology (in press)