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Mesalazine is safe for the treatment of IBD
  1. G D’Haens,
  2. A A van Bodegraven
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr G D’Haens;

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The article by Ransford and Langman (Gut 2002;51:536–9) on suspected serious adverse drug reactions for sulphasalazine and mesalazine reported in the UK from 1991 to 1998 revealed significant differences between both drugs.

Pancreatitis and interstitial nephritis were reported more frequently for mesalazine in comparison with sulphasalazine. The authors’ conclusion that mesalazine would not offer a safety benefit over sulphasalazine however appears unjustified for several reasons.

Sulphasalazine is an older compound used for the treatment of both rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). For 30 years, the adverse event (AE) profile of sulphasalazine has been well known.1 It often induces …

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