Mesalamine

Also called Apriso®, Asacol®, Canasa®, Delzicol®, Lialda®, Pentasa®, or Rowasa®

What is Mesalamine and What is it Used For?

  • Mesalamine is an anti-inflammatory medicine. It acts on the lining of the intestine to reduce inflammation. Each mesalamine medicine is released in a different part of the intestinal tract. Your gastroenterologist will pick the one that works best for the location of your IBD.
  • Asacol® and Delzicol® are activated at the end of the small bowel and treat the colon. Pentasa is released in the small intestine past the stomach. Lialda®, Colazal® and Apriso® are delayed-release forms that act in the colon. Rowasa® and Canasa® are given rectally if there is inflammation in the sigmoid colon or the rectum (end of the colon).

What Do I Need to Know Before Taking Mesalamine?

The pill or capsule should not be crushed, broken or chewed. For enemas, it is best to have a bowel movement and then do the enema at bedtime. The longer you can hold in the enema, the better the results. Suppositories should be inserted into the rectum and held for at least one hour, if possible.

  • A patient who has had a previous reaction to aspirin or salicylates should not take mesalamine.
  • Empty shells from the medication may appear in your stool. If they look intact, tell your doctor.

What Are the Food or Drink Interactions?

There are no known interactions with foods and beverages. They may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.

Is It Safe to Take Mesalamine for Long Periods of Time?

Long-term use of mesalamine is generally safe.

What are the side effects?

Minor

  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

Major

  • Pancreatitis
  • Fever
  • Kidney injury
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bloody stool

Sulfasalazine

What is Sulfasalazine and What is it Used For?

Sulfasalazine consists of sulfapyridine and mesalamine (the active ingredient) bound together. The bacteria in the colon release mesalamine in the colon where it reduces inflammation. Sulfasalazine is mainly used for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis because it releases in the colon.

What Do I Need to Know Before Taking Sulfasalazine?

  • Sulfasalazine should be taken at evenly spaced times during the day. It can be taken with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • You may crush the regular tablet (but not the enteric-coated tablet).
  • You should not take this drug if you have had a reaction to sulfa drugs or aspirin before.
  • Avoid being in the sun for along time, and wear sunblock.
  • Take folic acid when you are taking sulfasalazine because sulfasalazine reduces folic acid in the body.

What Are the Food or Drink Interations?

Sulfasalazine may increase the effects of alcohol.

Are There Any Drug Interactions with Sulfasalazine?

Sulfasalazine may increase or decrease the effects of the following medications:

  • Birth control pills
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Methotrexate
  • Digoxin and Coumadin
  • Anti-diuretic agents

Is It Safe to Take Sulfasalazine for Long Periods of Time?

Long-term use of sulfasalazine is generally safe, but your doctor must supervise and monitor you.

What are the side effects?

Minor

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Orange color in urine

Major

  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Bloody urine
  • Joint/muscle pain
  • Severe skin reaction
  • Bleeding/bruising
  • Yellow coloring of skin/eyes
  • Decreased sperm count

Balsalazide (Colazal)

What is Balsalazide and What is it Used For?

Balasalazide is a mesalamine drug. The bacteria in the colon activate this drug, and the drug is released there to reduce inflammation in the lining of the colon. It is used to treat ulcerative colitis and may also be used to treat Crohn’s colitis.

What Do I Need to Know Before Taking Balsalazide?

  • It is important to take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
  • Balsalazide may be taken with or without foodor milk.
  • This drug should not be taken if you have had a reaction to balsalazide oe mesalamine (Asacol®, Pentasa®, Canasa®, Rowasa®).
  • Blood testing may be necessary so your doctor can monitor you.

What Are The Food or Drink Interactions?

There are no known interactions between this medication and food and drinks.

Are There Any Drug Interactions with Balsalazide?

There are no known reactions between balsalazide and other drugs.

What Are the Side Effects?

Minor

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach cramps
  • Muscle aches

Major

  • Respiratory infection
  • Fever
  • Increased blood in stool

Rev. 2013