Mesalamine (By mouth)

Introduction

Mesalamine (me-SAL-a-meen)

Treats an inflammatory bowel disease called ulcerative colitis.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Asacol, Pentasa, Apriso, Lialda, Asacol HD

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to mesalamine, aminosalicylates, or salicylates.

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting Capsule, Tablet, Delayed Release 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.
  • Swallow the medicine whole. Do not open, break, crush, or chew it.
  • It is best to take the delayed-release tablets with food. All other brands of capsules and tablets can be taken with or without food.
  • Do not change to another brand without checking with your doctor. The number of capsules or tablets that you take depends on the brand and strength of the medicine. If you refill your medicine and it looks different, check with your pharmacist.
  • While taking the extended-release form of this medicine, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.

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 in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the delayed-release tablets in a tightly-closed container to protect them from moisture. Putting desiccant pouches in the container may also help to keep the tablets from getting moist.
  • 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 azathioprine (Imuran®), 6-mercaptopurine (Purinethol®), or pain or arthritis medicine, sometimes called "NSAIDs" (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, or Aleve®). Tell your doctor if you are also using antacids (such as Amphojel®, Maalox®, Mylanta®, or Tums®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or a stomach problem called pyloric stenosis.
  • Tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®).
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have abdominal or stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, cramps, fever, headache, or a rash while you are using this medicine. These may be symptoms of a condition called mesalamine-induced acute intolerance syndrome.
  • The Apriso? extended-release capsules contain aspartame, which may be a problem for people who have phenylketonuria (PKU). Tell your doctor if you have PKU before taking these capsules.
  • 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.

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.
  • Bloody diarrhea.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Severe stomach cramps, especially in the upper abdominal area.
  • Tremors.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness.
  • Yellow skin or eyes.

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

  • Constipation or mild diarrhea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Headache.
  • Joint or muscle pain.
  • Mild skin rash.
  • Nausea, vomiting, bloating, or stomach pain or upset.
  • Runny or stuffy nose or sneezing.
  • Tiredness or trouble sleeping.

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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