The American journal of gastroenterology

Once-daily dosing vs. conventional dosing schedule of mesalamine and relapse of quiescent ulcerative colitis: systematic review and meta-analysis.

PMID 21894226


Maintenance therapy with 5-aminosalicylates (5-ASAs) is recommended in patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis (UC), but compliance rates are low. Once-daily dosing may improve adherence, but impact on the relapse of disease activity is unclear as no previous meta-analysis has studied this issue. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane central register of controlled trials were searched (through April 2011). Eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs) recruited adults with quiescent UC, and compared once-daily dosing of 5-ASAs with a more frequent dosing schedule of an identical total daily dose of the same 5-ASA drug. Minimum treatment duration was 6 months. Trials reported a dichotomous assessment of relapse of disease activity at last point of follow-up. Data concerning non-compliance and adverse events were extracted, where reported. Effect of once-daily vs. more frequent dosing schedule was reported as relative risk (RR) of relapse with a 95% confidence interval (CI). The search identified 3,061 citations, and seven RCTs containing 2,745 patients were eligible. All RCTs used mesalamine. Relapse rates were not significantly different between once-daily and conventional dosing schedules for mesalamine (RR of relapse=0.94; 95% CI: 0.82-1.08). Non-compliance (RR=0.87; 95% CI: 0.46-1.66) and adverse events were no more likely with once-daily dosing (RR=1.08; 95% CI: 0.97-1.20). Once-daily dosing with mesalamine is as effective as conventional dosing schedules for the prevention of relapse of quiescent UC, although there is no definitive evidence that compliance with once-daily dosing is better. Adverse events occur at a similar frequency.