Corticosteroids are highly effective in inducing clinical remission in patients with active Crohn's disease. However, the role of corticosteroids in the treatment of this disease is primarily ameliorative because they are ineffective in maintaining remission or healing mucosal lesions. Nearly half of the patients who initially respond to corticosteroid therapy develop a dependency on corticosteroids or have a relapse within 1 year. In addition, use of these agents is often limited by a relatively high risk of serious adverse effects that can involve nearly every major body system. These effects include: bone loss, which can develop with even shortterm and low-dose corticosteroid therapy; metabolic complications such as glucose intolerance and diabetes mellitus; increased intraocular pressure and glaucoma; and potentially lethal infections.