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Budesonide controlled ileal release (CIR) capsules deliver budesonide, a glucocorticosteroid with high topical and low systemic activity, to the distal ileum and the proximal colon. In four previous controlled trials in Crohn's disease, remission rates ranged from 51% to 69%. We sought to evaluate the efficacy and safety of this drug in a population of patients in the United States with Crohn's disease.In this multicenter, double blind, randomized trial, 200 patients in the United States with mild to moderate Crohn's disease (Crohn's Disease Activity Index [CDAI] between 200 and 450) involving the distal ileum and/or ascending colon received 9 mg of budesonide CIR once daily, 4.5 mg b.i.d., or placebos for 8 wk. The primary outcome was remission defined by a CDAI of 150 or less.Remission was achieved in 48%, 53%, and 33% with 9 mg once daily, 4.5 mg b.i.d., and placebos, respectively, after 8 wk of treatment. Differences between the groups were not significant. The differences in mean change from baseline CDAI between the combined budesonide and placebo groups was significant (p < 0.05). There was no difference in observed adverse events between treatment groups, although a modest decrease in plasma cortisol levels was observed relative to the placebo (p < 0.01).Treatment of symptomatic Crohn's disease with budesonide CIR capsules (9 mg daily) was safe, and remission rates were similar to those achieved in previous trials. Although the remission rate did not significantly differ from the placebo response in this study, there was a significant change in the mean CDAI from baseline in the combined treatment groups relative to the placebo.