Controversies with aminosalicylates in inflammatory bowel disease

Wee Chian Lim*, Stephen B. Hanauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Aminosalicylates have been shown to exhibit a wide range of anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. Since the discovery of sulfasalazine's efficacy in ulcerative colitis and the subsequent development of sulfa-free mesalamine delivery systems, aminosalicylates have evolved to become an integral part of our therapeutic armamentarium and are now first-line therapies for the treatment of mildly to moderately active inflammatory bowel disease and for maintenance of remissions after successful induction therapy. Despite the substantial body of evidence supporting the use of aminosalicylates in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, gaps in our evidence base and controversies surrounding aminosalicylates' clinical application have emerged. In this review, issues of dose response and optimization of the treatment regimen in ulcerative colitis, the discrimination between oral mesalamine formulations in left-sided colitis, and their efficacy in active and quiescent Crohn's disease are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-117
Number of pages14
JournalReviews in gastroenterological disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004


  • 5-aminosalicylic acid
  • Crohn's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Mesalamine
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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