How I treat my inflammatory bowel disease-patients with thiopurines?

Berrie Meijer, Chris Jj Mulder, Adriaan A van Bodegraven, Nanne K H de Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Thiopurines are essential drugs to maintain remission in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Thiopurines used in IBD are azathioprine (2.0-2.5 mg/kg), mercaptopurine (1.0-1.5 mg/kg) and thioguanine (0.2-0.3 mg/kg). However, mainly due to numerous adverse events associated with thiopurine use, almost 50% of the patients have to discontinue conventional thiopurine treatment. Extensive monitoring and the application of several treatment strategies, such as split-dose administration, co-administration with allopurinol or dose reduction/increase, may increase the chance of successful therapy. With this review, we provide practical information on how thiopurines are initiated and maintained in two thiopurine research centers in The Netherlands. We provide clinical information concerning safety issues, indications and management of therapy that may serve as a guide for the administration of thiopurines in IBD patients in daily practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-530
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2016

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