A Better Budesonide for Eosinophilic Esophagitis (Part 2)

A recent study (ES Dellon et al Gastroenterol 2017; 152: 776-86) provides more data indicating that a premixed solution of budesonide improves eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). This study complements a recent report highlighted in a blog post earlier this year:

A Better Budesonide for Eosinophilic Esophagitis

In the present study by Dellon et al, the authors performed a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial of 93 EoE patients (ages 11-40).  All patients had dysphagia and active EoE. The active treatment group received 2 mg twice daily.

Key findings:

  • Dysphagia symptom questionnnaire (DSQ) scores improved more in the active treatment group compared to placebo.  At baseline, the DSQ scores were 29.3 and 29.0 respectively.  After 12 weeks, the the scores were 15.0 and 21.5 respectively.
  • Similarly, the active treatment group peak eosinophil counts improved more.  At baseline, the treatment group had a count (per hpf) of 156 and this dropped to 39; in contrast, the placebo group started at 130 and dropped to 113.
  • The overall histologic response (≤6 eos/hpf) was 39% for the treatment group and 3% for the placebo group.
  • No significant adverse effects could be attributed to budesonide.  There was 1 case of esohageal candidiasis.  “There were no notable differences between the groups in cortisol levels.”

My take: Budesonide suspension is useful for EoE but not effective in all patients. A reliable composition from a manufacturer, if not too expensive, would be a big improvement for many kids with EoE. Higher doses of budesonide may be warranted in some cases of EoE.

Related blog posts:

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