Persistence and Dose Escalation During Maintenance Phase and Use of Nonbiologic Medications Among Patients With Ulcerative Colitis Initiated on Ustekinumab in the United States

Crohn's & Colitis 360, 2023


Real-world data on treatment patterns among patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) initiated on ustekinumab are limited.


Adults with UC initiated on ustekinumab (index date) between 10/18/2019 and 04/31/2022 were selected from a deidentified health insurance claims database (Symphony Health, an ICON plc Company, PatientSource). Persistence (no gaps in days of supply >120 days), persistence while being corticosteroid-free (no corticosteroid use for ≥14 days of supply after a 90-day grace period from index date) and dose escalation (≥2 consecutive subcutaneous claims ≥100% above daily maintenance dose) were described during the maintenance phase using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Nonbiologic treatments, among patients with ≥2 ustekinumab claims within 90 days post-index and ≥6 months of follow-up, were compared with logistic models 6 months post- versus pre-ustekinumab initiation.


6565 patients on ustekinumab entered the maintenance phase. At month 12 of the maintenance phase, 72.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 70.1%-73.9%) were persistent, 50.8% (95% CI: 48.7%-52.9%) were persistent and corticosteroid-free, and 19.2% (95% CI: 17.3%-21.3%) of patients had dose escalation. In the 6 months post- versus pre-ustekinumab initiation, the odds of nonbiologic medication use assessed in 4147 patients were significantly lower: 57% lower odds for corticosteroid, 46% for 60 cumulative days of corticosteroid, 42% for 5-aminosalicylic acid, and 24% for immunomodulators (all P < .001).


Most patients with UC reaching the maintenance phase on ustekinumab remained persistent after 12 months of maintenance therapy. Nonbiologic medication use post-ustekinumab initiation was significantly lower, notably for corticosteroids. Given the multiple complications associated with chronic corticosteroid use, this reduction can be seen as clinically relevant and informs treatment choice for patients with UC.

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Zhdanava M, Zhao R, Manceur AM, Kachroo S, Lefebvre P, Pilon D