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

Systemic availability of 5-aminosalicylic acid: comparison of delayed release and an azo-bond preparation.

AIM: To determine the systemic uptake of 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) and acetyl-5-ASA (Ac-5-ASA) at steady state during treatment with either an azo-bond preparation, olsalazine, or a delayed-release mesalazine. METHODS: In an open cross-over trial with randomized sequence, 15 patients with ulcerative colitis in remission were given 7-day courses of olsalazine (Dipentum 1.0 g daily) and of mesalazine (Asacol 1.6 g daily). Plasma and urine were collected on days 6 and 7 of each course and concentrations of 5-ASA and Ac-5-ASA were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). RESULTS: Mean steady-state plasma concentrations of 5-ASA and Ac-5-ASA were significantly higher after treatment with mesalazine than with olsalazine (P < 0.0001). Total urinary excretion of 5-ASA and Ac-5-ASA as a percentage of the given dose was significantly higher on mesalazine than on olsalazine (P < 0.01). Only two patients experienced, during the first 3 days of treatment with olsalazine, transient watery diarrhoea which resolved spontaneously. No unexpected or major changes in haematology or biochemistry were detected during the study. CONCLUSION: As 5-ASA acts locally, the lower systemic load provided by olsalazine may increase efficacy and reduce the potential risk of nephrotoxicity during long-term maintenance treatment of ulcerative colitis.[1]


  1. Systemic availability of 5-aminosalicylic acid: comparison of delayed release and an azo-bond preparation. Gionchetti, P., Campieri, M., Venturi, A., Rizzello, F., Ferretti, M., Brignola, C., Miglioli, M. Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther. (1996) [Pubmed]
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