Time to clinical response and remission for therapeutics in inflammatory bowel diseases: What should the clinician expect, what should patients be told?

Abhinav Vasudevan, Peter R. Gibson, Daniel R. Van Langenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


An awareness of the expected time for therapies to induce symptomatic improvement and remission is necessary for determining the timing of follow-up, disease (re)assessment, and the duration to persist with therapies, yet this is seldom reported as an outcome in clinical trials. In this review, we explore the time to clinical response and remission of current therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as well as medication, patient and disease related factors that may influence the time to clinical response. It appears that the time to therapeutic response varies depending on the indication for therapy (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis). Agents with the most rapid time to clinical response included corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, exclusive enteral nutrition, aminosalicylates and anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy which will work in most patients within the first 2 mo. Vedolizumab, methotrexate and thiopurines had a longer time to clinical response and can take several months to achieve maximal efficacy. Factors affecting the time to clinical response of therapies included use of concomitant therapy, disease duration, smoking status, disease phenotype and advanced age. There appears to be marked variation in time to clinical response for therapies used in IBD which is further influenced by disease and patient related factors. Understanding the expected time to therapeutic response is integral to inform further decision making, maintain a patientcentered approach and ensure treatment is given an appropriate timeframe to achieve maximal benefit prior to cessation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6385-6402
Number of pages18
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2017


  • Biologics
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Crohn's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Nutrition
  • Thiopurines
  • Ulcerative colitis

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