Ferring enjoys a strong reputation within the international gastroenterology community. There are three principle products in the portfolio:


Since the late 1980s, the Ferring product PENTASA® (mesalazine) has been widely used for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Disorders of the digestive system are widespread. Many people suffer from debilitating inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.

These chronic illnesses are characterised by diarrhoea, pain, fever and weight loss. Ferring offers effective treatments that can provide patients with long-term relief. Ferring scientists developed PENTASA® Tablets and Sachets with coated microgranules containing the active ingredient, mesalazine, to enable a slow release throughout the intestinal tract, from duodenum to rectum. Ferring’s objective is to become one of the leading companies in this area, and the company continues to search for new therapies that not only alleviate symptoms but also attack the underlying causes of these diseases.

Inflamatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that can be associated with many complications. It gives rise to long-term effects that can strongly influence a patient’s life. Problems such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and a general feeling of malaise are common. With symptoms such as these, it is not surprising that IBD patients also find their working and social lives can be greatly affected by their disease. Worries and concerns commonly centre on unanticipated flare-ups, the possible need for surgery and the increased risk of further complications. Investigations often use techniques including colonscopy to directly observe the bowel wall.

For patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) of mild-moderate severity, the most common maintenance therapies used contain mesalazine, of which Ferring manufactures PENTASA ®. Please refer to the Summary of Product Characteristics and Patient Information Leaflet for further information.

Acute Therapy

Localised active UC, confined to the rectum or the lower end of the colon, can be treated topically by the use of suppositories or enemas respectively. More diffuse or extensive disease, or cases that do not respond to local treatment, require oral therapy. Mild-moderate disease will usually respond to mesalazine, though some more active cases will require the additional short-term use of acorticosteroid. Severe cases can require hospitalisation, intravenous corticosteroids, fluid and electrolyte replacement, and possibly parenteral nutrition and antibiotics. Immunosupressant therapy may benefit those who still do not respond.

Maintenance Therapy

The choice of an effective treatment for maintenance therapy will be influenced by the treatment that successfully induced remission from the acute phase. The current guidelines from the British Society of Gastroenterology recommend mesalazine as a first line maintenance therapy (1).

Optimum results from maintenance therapy require good patient compliance with the prescribed medication. Patients require education regarding the long-term goals of treatment:

· Prevention of relapse
· Reduction of long-term complications
· Reduction of risk from acute therapy with steroids


GLYPRESSIN®(terlipressin acetate) is another important Ferring product in the gastroenterology field.

GLYPRESSIN® is used to treat patients suffering from bleeding oesophageal varices which can result from severe liver cirrhosis. In acute situations, varices can rupture resulting in heavy bleeding, which is life-threatening unless it can be stopped.


GLYPRESSIN® 0.12mg/ml SOLUTION FOR INJECTION (terlipressin acetate) is available as a ready mixed alternative which avoids the requirement to reconstitute powder with solvent at ward level.  Glypressin® Solution is used to treat patients suffering from bleeding oesophageal varices which can result from severe liver cirrhosis.   The aim of treatment is to rapidly control the bleeding and reduce mortality as this condition can be life-threatening. 


PICOLAX® (sodium picosulphate and magnesium citrate) is a commonly used bowel clearing preparation in the UK. It is used prior to one of three procedures:

1. Barium Enema
2. Colonoscopy
3. Bowel Surgery

PICOLAX® is taken the day before the procedure, simply mixed in water.

VSL#3® is a probiotic mixture containing 450 billion live lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. It is a probiotic food supplement that can help support a healthy and balanced gut flora when included as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Click here for more information.


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(1) BSG Guidelines for the management of inflammatory bowel disease in adults, Gut, September 2004 Supplement No V Vol 53