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The use of oral corticosteroids in inflammatory bowel diseases in Italy: An IG-IBD survey

Digestive and Liver Disease, Available online 22 July 2017



To evaluate how Italian gastroenterologists use corticosteroids in clinical practice for the treatment of Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).


All members of the Italian Group for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IG-IBD) were invited to fill in a web-based questionnaire.


131/448 (29.2%) members completed the survey. In mild-to-moderate UC and CD relapses, low-bioavailability steroids (LBS) are first-line therapy for 37% and 42% of clinicians, respectively. In case of failure, immediate step-up to biologics or immunosuppressants is considered by 23% and 29%. Regarding conventional corticosteroids (CCS), a fixed starting dose is prescribed by 50%, and a weight-based dose by 22%. Tapering is started after 7-10days by 41% and after 14days by 32%. The preferred tapering schedule is 5mg/week. In case of CCS failure, 47% switch to parenteral steroids before considering shifting to different drug classes. In case of symptoms recurrence during tapering, 14% re-increase the dose and try tapering again. Before prescribing steroids, 72% do not prescribe any specific evaluation whereas during treatment some evaluation is performed by 85%. Vitamin D and calcium supplements are routinely prescribed along with steroids by 38%.


Several discrepancies and some deviation from the available guidelines were recorded among Italian gastroenterologists regarding corticosteroids use in IBD patients.

Copyright © 2017 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Beclomethasone dipropionate; Budesonide; Inflammatory bowel disease; Low-bioavailability steroids; Prednisone; Steroids; Systemic steroids