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Table of Contents
Vol. 45, No. 6, 1992
Issue release date: 1992
Pharmacology 1992;45:307–318

Role of Sulphydryl-Containing Agents in the Management of Recurrent Attacks of Ulcerative Colitis

A New Approach

Salim A.S.
University Department of Surgery, Medical City, Baghdad, Iraq

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This double-blind randomised study investigated the role of sulphydryl-containing agents in the management of recurrent attacks of ulcerative colitis. To this end, DL-cysteine (200 mg 4 times daily) and DL-methionine-methyl sulphonium chloride (MMSC, 500 mg 4 times daily) were administered orally. Patients with recurrent attacks of moderate proctosigmoidal ulcerative colitis, despite prophylaxis by oral sulphasalazine (2 g daily), were given prednisolone by mouth, 10 mg four times a day, sulphasalazine by mouth, 500 mg four times a day, and morning and evening retention enema (Predsol 20 mg) alone or with cysteine or MMSC. After 2 weeks of treatment with sulphasalazine and prednisolone, 51% of patients (n = 45) were symptom free. Addition of cysteine (n = 46) or MMSC (n = 47) to this regimen controlled the symptoms within 2 weeks in 85% of patients (p < 0.01). During 12 months of prophylactic treatment, 5 % of patients (n = 42) receiving sulphasalazine (2 g daily) and cysteine and 5% of patients (n = 41) taking sulphasalazine (2 g daily) and MMSC relapsed, relative to 27% of cases with sulphasalazine (2 g daily) alone (p < 0.01). These results demonstrate that sulphydryl-containing agents play a key role in the treatment of and protection against ulcerative colitis.

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