Maria T. Abreu, MD: Ustekinumab Improves Quality of Life for Ulcerative Colitis Patients

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Ustekinumab resulted in a reduction of both stool frequency and rectal bleeding for ulcerative colitis patients.

The quality of life for those suffering from ulcerative colitis can be poor depending on how severe the symptoms are.

However, new data presented at the annual American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) 2020 conference show that ustekinumab could be effective in decreasing stool frequency and reducing rectal bleeding in this patient population.

In the UNIFI randomized-withdrawal study, researchers evaluated the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous ustekinumab in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. These patients had previously responded to intravenous ustekinumab induction during the 44-week maintenance study.

The researchers also recorded the number of stools and rectal bleeding symptoms for 7 days prior to each visit and evaluated the proportion of patients with Mayo stool frequency subscores of 0 (normal number of stools) or 1 (1-2 stools more than normal) or rectal bleeding subscores of 0 (no rectal bleeding found) and summarized the absolute stool number.

The results of the study show among the patients treated in the long-term extension, there was an overall reductions in both stool frequency and rectal bleeding after IV ustekinumab induction that was maintained through 2 years of ustekinumab subcutaneous maintenance.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Maria T. Abreu , MD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, explained how the study shows ustekinumab could improve the overall quality of life for ulcerative colitis patients.