Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines recommend that all patients with ulcerative colitis should receive long-term therapy with a 5-aminosalicylic acid compound to maintain remission. Recent studies have shown that time spent in remission is longer when the maintenance dose is increased from 1.2 to 2.4 g/day, with patients with extensive disease benefiting most from an increase with dosage. A retrospective analysis also found that the frequency of relapse was lower in patients taking more than the median dose of 5-aminosalicylic acid (1.6 g/day) compared with those taking less than the median dose. Similarly, when 5-aminosalicylic acids are used to induce remission, continuing the induction dosage for an extra 4 weeks prolongs remission and reduces the frequency of relapse. However, patients rarely comply fully with the prescribed dose regimen, which can lead to effective under-dosing. The recent discovery that 5-aminosalicylic acids may act in ulcerative colitis by activating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, a nuclear receptor that plays a role in the control of cell proliferation and apoptosis, has given new impetus to the idea that long-term therapy with 5-aminosalicylic acid may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Epidemiological studies are beginning to provide evidence to support this view. Accumulating evidence suggests that the next revision of the clinical guidelines should suggest life-long doses of 5-aminosalicylic acid of > or =2 g/day for maintenance of remission in patients with ulcerative colitis.

Original publication




Journal article


Aliment Pharmacol Ther

Publication Date



24 Suppl 1


17 - 22


Administration, Oral, Administration, Topical, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Colitis, Ulcerative, Colorectal Neoplasms, Drug Administration Schedule, Humans, Mesalamine, Patient Compliance, Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors, Recurrence, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome