Aminosalicylates are commonly used medications for the treatment of mild-to-moderate inflammatory bowel disease. The exact mechanism of action is unknown, although it is thought that aminosalicylates have more of a topical effect on the gastrointestinal mucosa rather than a systemic one. 5-ASA is a well-established first-line therapy for mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis in the adult population, and remains an important option for children with mild-to-moderate UC. However, its use in pediatric Crohn's disease is controversial given the lack of data supporting its efficacy. Few studies have addressed the use of 5-ASA in the pediatric population. In general, aminosalicylates are well tolerated in children with few dose-related side effects. An important step forward can be expected from the NIH funded Predicting Response to Standardized Pediatric Colitis Therapy (PROTECT) Study.
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