Are steroids used too much for patients with inflammatory bowel disease?

Steroid therapy is commonly used to treat acute attacks of the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; however, because it does not provide long-term benefits and it carries a risk of serious side effects, it should not be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease for more than three months.

In a large study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers at 19 centres in the UK report that, among 2,385 patients with , 14.8% showed evidence of steroid excess or dependency, and the steroid excess was judged avoidable in over 50% of cases.

The seven centres that had participated in a quality improvement programme had significantly fewer patients (11.5% versus 17.1%) receiving excess steroids.

"Looking at steroid prescribing for inflammatory bowel disease and trying to reduce steroid excess can be a powerful way to improve and outcomes," said lead author Christian P. Selinger, MD, MSc, MRCP, of St. James University Hospital.


Explore further

Medication linked to increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease

More information: Christian P. Selinger et al, Assessment of steroid use as a key performance indicator in inflammatory bowel disease-analysis of data from 2385 UK patients, Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2019). DOI: 10.1111/apt.15497
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Are steroids used too much for patients with inflammatory bowel disease? (2019, October 9) retrieved 19 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-10-steroids-patients-inflammatory-bowel-disease.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
2 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more