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Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie
Thiopurines (azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine) are the most frequently used drugs in the treatment of patients with Crohn''s disease. In current guidelines published by the German Society of Gastroenterology, Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases (DGVS) in 2014 and by the European Crohn´s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) in 2010 different indications have been suggested. However, efficacy of azathioprine has been substantially questioned by recent publications in adults as well as in children examining the efficacy of early initiation of this treatment. These articles were published after release of the aforementioned guidelines. Therefore, in this survey recently published data are discussed on the background of our knowledge on the efficacy of azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine developed in many years, and suggestions for the future use of these substances in the treatment of patients with Crohn''s disease will be provided.