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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Beclomethasone dipropionate enemas for treating inflammatory bowel disease without producing Cushing's syndrome or hypothalamic pituitary adrenal suppression.

Since beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) is a very potent glucocorticoid and since small oral doses (1 mg) seem to be metabolised (possibly in the gut wall or liver) before they reach the systemic circulation, a study was conducted to find out whether patients with inflammatory bowel disease could be treated with enemas containing small doses of BDP without their acquiring Cushing's syndrome or hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) suppression. The BDP in the 100 ml enemas used was stable and present in a concentration likely to be therapeutic (0.5 mg/dl). Single overnight BDP enemas, unlike conventional betamethasone (5 mg) enemas, did not interfere with the HPA axis in 6 healthy volunteers. In the double-blind randomised part of the study 2-week courses of BDP or betamethasone enemas were assessed in 9 patients having exacerbations of distal inflammatory bowel disease. The clinical and sigmoidoscopic responses as well as adrenocortical function (judged by the 'Cosyntropin' test) were evaluated on the morning after the last day of a course of enemas. Both types of enemas had similar beneficial effects, but only BDP enemas did not interfere with HPA function. Over a prolonged period, a patient with distal ulcerative colitis had been completely dependent on regular treatment with betamethasone enemas to control his symptoms. Substitution with BDP enemas successfully controlled his bowel symptoms, whilst his cushingoid features and HPA suppression regressed.[1]


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