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October 23, 1987

Gastroenterology and Hepatology

JAMA. 1987;258(16):2243-2245. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400160097021

Dramatic advances have occurred in many areas of gastroenterology. For example, new drugs are being developed for the treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. One of the most important is salicylazosulfapyridine, which has been used for years to treat acute attacks of ulcerative colitis and to minimize the risk of relapse. The drug reaches the colon intact and there it is split into 5-aminosalicylic acid and sulfapyridine. Aminosalicylic acid is the active moiety, with sulfapyridine acting as a carrier but also being responsible for many side effects such as nausea and vomiting. New oral and rectal formulations of 5-aminosalicylic are under investigation. The oral preparations can be divided into two groups: diazoderivatives, in which 5-aminosalicylic is linked through a diazobond to a similar molecule, and preparations of 5-aminosalicylic encapsulated in a slow-release or time-release capsule and liberated by physical or chemical mechanisms. Both formulations have been found to be