Research: FEAGAN and [24] colleagues,

Listed in Issue 163


FEAGAN and [24] colleagues, Robarts Clinical Trials, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, 100 Perth Dr, London, ON, Canada N6A 5K8. researched whether the oral administration of omega-3 free fatty acids is more effective than placebo for prevention of relapse of Crohn's disease.


Maintenance therapy for Crohn disease features the use of immunosuppressive drugs, which are associated with an increased risk of infection. Identification of safe and effective maintenance strategies is a priority.


Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (Epanova Program in Crohn's Study 1 [EPIC-1] and EPIC-2) conducted between January 2003 and February 2007 at 98 centres in Canada, Europe, Israel, and the United States. Data from 363 and 375 patients with quiescent Crohn's disease were evaluated in EPIC-1 and EPIC-2, respectively. Interventions: Patients with a Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) score of less than 150 were randomly assigned to receive either 4 g/d of omega-3 free fatty acids or placebo for up to 58 weeks. No other treatments for Crohn's disease were permitted. Main Outcome Measure: Clinical relapse, as defined by a CDAI score of 150 points or greater and an increase of more than 70 points from the baseline value, or initiation of treatment for active Crohn's disease.


For EPIC-1, 188 patients were assigned to receive omega-3 free fatty acids and 186 patients to receive placebo. Corresponding numbers for EPIC-2 were 189 and 190 patients, respectively. The rate of relapse at 1 year in EPIC-1 was 31.6% in patients who received omega-3 free fatty acids and 35.7% in those who received placebo (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% confidence interval, 0.51-1.19; P = .30). Corresponding values for EPIC-2 were 47.8% and 48.8% (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% confidence interval, 0.67-1.21; P = .48). Serious adverse events were uncommon and mostly related to Crohn's disease.


In these trials, treatment with omega-3 free fatty acids was not effective for the prevention of relapse in Crohn's disease. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinical Identifiers: EPIC-1: NCT00613197, EPIC-2: NCT00074542.


Feagan BG,  Sandborn WJ,  Mittmann U,  Bar-Meir S,  D'Haens G,  Bradette M,  Cohen A,  Dallaire C,  Ponich TP,  McDonald JW,  Hebuterne X,  Pare P,  Klvana P,  Niv Y, Ardizzone S,  Alexeeva O,  Rostom A,  Kiudelis G,  Spleiss J,  Gilgen D,  Vandervoort MK,  Wong CJ,  Zou GY,  Donner A and Rutgeerts P.   Omega-3 free fatty acids for the maintenance of remission in Crohn disease: the EPIC Randomized Controlled Trials.[see comment]. JAMA.  299(14):1690-7. Apr 9 2008. Comment in: Gastroenterology. 135(3):1005-6; Sept  2008. discussion 1006-7; PMID: 18691593, Comment in: JAMA. 13;300(6):650. Aug 2008. author reply 650; PMID: 18698061.

ICAN 2024 Skyscraper

Scientific and Medical Network 2

Cycle Around the World for Charity 2023

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro Charity 2023

top of the page