Sulfasalazine (By mouth)

Introduction

Sulfasalazine (sul-fa-SAL-a-zeen)

Treats ulcerative colitis. Also treats rheumatoid arthritis. This medicine is a sulfa drug.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Sulfazine EC, Azulfidine Entabs, Sulfazine, Azulfidine

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to sulfasalazine or any other sulfa drug, or to aspirin or any other salicylate drugs. You should not use this medicine if you have anything blocking your intestines or bladder, or if you have porphyria.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Coated Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food. Take each dose at evenly spaced times throughout the day and night. Try not to let more than 8 hours go by between doses, even at night.
  • Swallow the tablet with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Swallow the enteric-coated tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
  • Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using this medicine. This may help prevent kidney problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you see the enteric-coated tablet in your stools. This could mean your body did not absorb (use) the medicine.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using digoxin (Lanoxin®) or folic acid supplements. Folic acid is a vitamin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, kidney disease, bleeding problems, asthma, severe allergies, or G6PD deficiency (not having enough of an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in your blood).
  • If you are a man, this medicine may cause your body to make less sperm than normal. You may not be able to father a child while you are using this medicine. Your sperm should go back to normal after you stop using this medicine.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Your skin or urine may turn an orange or yellow color while you are using this medicine. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
  • If you are using this medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, it may take 4 to 12 weeks before you start feeling better.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Seizures or severe drowsiness
  • Sore throat, fever, pale skin, or yellow eyes or skin
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Unusual joint pain or swelling in a child

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or upset stomach (for more than a few days)

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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