Safety and Efficacy of Combination Treatment With Calcineurin Inhibitors and Vedolizumab in Patients With Refractory Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Britt Christensen, Peter R. Gibson, Dejan Micic, Ruben J. Colman, Sarah R. Goeppinger, Olufemi Kassim, Andres Yarur, Christopher R. Weber, Russell D. Cohen, David T. Rubin

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Background & Aims: Little is known about the efficacy and safety of induction therapy with calcineurin inhibitors in combination with vedolizumab for patients with Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC). We analyzed the outcomes of patients receiving vedolizumab along with calcineurin inhibitors. Methods: We collected data on patients with CD (n = 9) or UC (n = 11) who began treatment with vedolizumab from May 20, 2014, through March 30, 2015, and received calcineurin inhibitors (tacrolimus or cyclosporin) during the first 12 months of vedolizumab therapy. Clinical activity scores and inflammatory markers were measured at baseline and at weeks 14, 30, and 52 of vedolizumab treatment. Clinical remission was defined as a Harvey–Bradshaw index score ≤4 or short clinical colitis activity index score ≤2; steroid-free clinical remission was defined as clinical remission without corticosteroids. Results: By week 14 of treatment, 44% of the patients with CD and 55% of the patients with UC achieved steroid-free clinical remission; after 52 weeks of treatment, 33% of the patients with CD and 45% of the patients with UC were in steroid-free clinical remission. Seven patients received salvage therapy with a calcineurin inhibitor after primary nonresponse to vedolizumab—1 of the 2 patients with UC and 2 of 5 patients with CD stopped taking the calcineurin inhibitors and achieved steroid-free remission at week 52. In total, 16 patients (59%) received 52 weeks of treatment with vedolizumab. Three serious adverse events were associated with calcineurin inhibitors. Conclusions: Combination therapy of vedolizumab with either cyclosporin or tacrolimus is effective and safe at inducing and maintaining clinical remission in patients with CD and UC with up to 52 weeks of follow-up evaluation. Larger studies of the ability of calcineurin inhibitors to induce remission in patients on vedolizumab are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-493
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • HBI
  • Response to Therapy
  • α4 Integrin

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