Olsalazine Versus Sulfasalazine in Mild to Moderate Childhood Ulcerative Colitis
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The safety and efficacy of olsalazine sodium was compared to sulfasalazine over 3 months in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind study of 56 children with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis. Twenty-eight children received 30 mg/kg/day of olsalazine (maximum, 2 g/day) and 28 received 60 mg/kg/day of sulfasalazine (maximum, 4 g/day). Side effects were frequent in both groups. Eleven of 28 patients (39%) on olsalazine reported headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, pruritus, increased diarrhea, and/or fever. Thirteen of 28 on sulfasalazine (46%) reported similar side effects and/or neutropenia, and four patients had the drug stopped because of an adverse reaction. After 3 months, 11 of 28 (39%) on olsalazine were asymptomatic or clinically improved, compared to 22 of 28 (79%) on sulfasalazine (p = 0.006). In addition, 10 of 28 patients on olsalazine versus one on sulfasalazine required prednisone because of lack of response or worsening of colitis (p = 0.005). The dose of olsalazine used in this clinical trial was thought to be equivalent to a standard dose of sulfasalazine, but fewer patients on olsalazine improved and a greater number had progression of symptoms when compared to sulfasalazine. Although side effects were slightly less frequent for olsalazine, the number of patients was too small to detect a clinically significant difference.
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