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We read with great interest the study by Ardizzone and colleagues (Gut 2006;55:47–53) and the excellent review of Sands (Gut 2006;55:437–41) commenting on the efficacy and side effects of azathioprine (AZA) in the therapy of ulcerative colitis. Ardizzone et al observed in their investigator blinded study, which included patients with steroid dependent ulcerative colitis, more mild to moderate adverse events in azathioprine than in mesalamine (5-ASA) treated patients (26% v 6%; p = 0.046). However, only two of 36 patients on AZA were withdrawn from the study because of adverse events. We would like to comment on the side effects of AZA, which we observed in a double blind, double dummy, randomised, prospective, multicentre study on the efficacy and safety of AZA (2.0–2.5 mg/kg/day) and 5-ASA (4 g/day) for prevention of postoperative endoscopic recurrence in Crohn’s disease.
Seventy nine patients (AZA, 42; …
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