Azodisal sodium is a highly effective means of oral delivery of 5-amino-salicylic acid to the colonic mucosa. Administration of this drug to patients intolerant of sulphasalazine, however, occasionally results in liquid stools. In preliminary experiments, which comprised 10 healthy volunteers treated with colectomy for ulcerative colitis, ileostomy fluid output increased (p less than 0.001) during oral intake of azodisal sodium (1 g/day). In a double blind, placebo controlled crossover study, comprising eight similar volunteers, ileostomy fluid output increased (p less than 0.05) in a dose related manner during intake of azodisal sodium (1 g/day vs 2 g/day) compared with placebo or sulphasalazine (2 g/day). Concentrations of prostaglandin (PG)F2 alpha in free ileal water determined by equilibrium in vivo dialysis of ileostomy contents decreased (p less than 0.05) during intake of azodisal sodium (2 g/day), whereas concentrations of PGE2 and the output of PGE2, PGF2 alpha, and 'PGE2 + PGF2 alpha' remained unchanged. Thus increased formation of PGs is apparently not the cause of increased ileostomy fluid output associated with azodisalicylate intake.
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