Intest Res.  2015 Jul;13(3):219-226. 10.5217/ir.2015.13.3.219.

Tacrolimus for the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan. mamoru.gast@tmd.ac.jp

Abstract

Tacrolimus is a calcineurin inhibitor used for the treatment of corticosteroid-refractory ulcerative colitis (UC). Two randomized controlled trials and a number of retrospective studies have assessed the therapeutic effect of tacrolimus in UC patients. These studies showed that tacrolimus has excellent short-term efficacy in corticosteroid-refractory patients, with the rates of clinical response ranging from 61% to 96%. However, the long-term prognosis of patients treated with tacrolimus is disappointing, and almost 50% of patients eventually underwent colectomy in long-term follow-up. Tacrolimus can achieve mucosal healing in 40-50% of patients, and this is associated with a favorable long-term prognosis. Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha antibodies are another therapeutic option in corticosteroid-refractory patients. A prospective head-to-head comparative study of tacrolimus and infliximab is currently being performed to determine which treatment is more effective in corticosteroid-refractory patients. Several retrospective studies have demonstrated that switching between tacrolimus and anti-TNF-alpha antibody therapy was effective in patients who were refractory to one of the treatments. Most adverse events of tacrolimus are mild; however, opportunistic infections, especially pneumocystis pneumonia, are the most important adverse events, and these should be carefully considered during treatment. Several issues on tacrolimus treatment in UC patients remain unsolved (e.g., use of tacrolimus as remission maintenance therapy). Further controlled studies are needed to optimize the use of tacrolimus for the treatment of UC.

Keyword

Tacrolimus; Colitis, ulcerative; Cyclosporine; Calcineurin inhibitors

MeSH Terms

Antibodies
Calcineurin
Colectomy
Colitis, Ulcerative*
Cyclosporine
Follow-Up Studies
Humans
Infliximab
Necrosis
Opportunistic Infections
Pneumonia, Pneumocystis
Prognosis
Tacrolimus*
Antibodies
Calcineurin
Cyclosporine
Tacrolimus
Full Text Links
  • IR
Actions
Cited
CITED
export Copy
Close
Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2022 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr