University of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

A review of current evidence allied to step-up and top-down medication therapy in inflammatory bowel disease

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 06:59 authored by Mohammed SalahudeenMohammed Salahudeen
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), classified as a global disease in the 21st century, comprises Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), and is manifested by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract of unknown etiology. The step-up approach is effective for inducing remission and controlling inflammation, whereas the top-down therapy appears to be a better solution for the maintenance of remission with an improved bowel function. A systematic search was performed in Ovid MEDLINE and Embase (1946-December 2018) to identify relevant trials that support medication therapy in IBD. Thirty-nine potential trials were retrieved, of which 29 focused on CD, and 10 studied UC. There is mounting evidence on both benefits and disadvantages in the application of early initiation of top-down therapy in suitably selected patients. Nevertheless, there are uncertainties about the appropriateness of these approaches for the management of IBD and there are conflicting results in overall outcomes including mucosal healing and rehospitalization. The choice of either top-down or step-up therapy in the treatment of IBD should be an individualized approach and cannot be recommended as a part of a generalized guideline. Further prospective studies are warranted to determine whether combination therapy or aggressive therapy is superior to monotherapy.


Publication title

Drugs of Today










School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Clarivate Analytics

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Clarivate Analytics

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified