Mesalamine is indicated for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, a medical condition characterized by inflammation and ulceration in the colon and rectum. It is also prescribed to sustain the remission of ulcerative colitis symptoms. Mesalamine belongs to a class of pharmacological agents known as anti-inflammatory medications. Its mechanism of action involves inhibiting the production of a specific substance within the body that can lead to inflammation.
Uses and Dosage
Take this medication orally, either with or without food, as directed. Typically, it should be taken three times daily. Certain brands may require consumption on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after a meal. For specific guidelines pertaining to your particular brand, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Ensure that you swallow the medication whole and refrain from crushing, chewing, or breaking it, as these actions may hinder the proper release of the drug into the colon.
During the course of treatment with this medication, consume an ample amount of fluids, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. This practice helps to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
The prescribed dosage of this medication is contingent upon your medical condition and response to treatment. In the case of children, the dosage is also influenced by their weight. Different brands of this medication contain varying amounts of the active ingredient. Switching brands without the explicit permission and guidance of your doctor should be avoided.
To derive the maximum benefit from this medication, it should be taken regularly. To assist with remembering, take it at the same times each day.
If your condition fails to improve or worsens, please inform your doctor promptly.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- muscle or joint pain, aching, tightness or stiffness
- back pain
- dry mouth
- hair loss
- decreased appetite
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- rash, hives, itching or peeling or blistering skin
- mouth sores or blisters
- fever or flu-like symptoms
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, mouth, or throat
- swollen glands
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- new or worsening cough
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- black or tarry stools
- bloody vomit
- vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
- swelling of any part of the body
- side or back pain
- difficult or painful urination, or pink or red colored urine, or blood in urine
- extreme tiredness
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- pain in the right upper part of the stomach
- pale stools
Prior to initiating treatment with mesalamine, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any known allergies you have, particularly if you are allergic to mesalamine itself, other aminosalicylates, salicylates, sulfasalazine, or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can potentially trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before using this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of kidney disease, liver disease, or stomach blockage (such as pyloric stenosis).
This medication may increase your sensitivity to sunlight, especially if you have skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis or eczema. To minimize risks, limit your exposure to sunlight, avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, and ensure the use of sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors. If you experience sunburn or develop skin blisters or redness, notify your doctor immediately.
This medication exhibits similarities to aspirin. Individuals below the age of 18, including children and teenagers, should avoid taking aspirin or aspirin-related medications (such as salicylates) if they have chickenpox, flu, an undiagnosed illness, or have recently received a vaccine. In such cases, the use of aspirin heightens the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a rare yet serious condition.
During pregnancy, this medication should only be used if clearly necessary. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have adverse effects on a nursing infant. Prior to breastfeeding, consult your doctor for guidance.
Form and Strength
Asacol is available in the following forms and strengths:
Asacol delayed-release tablet:
mesalamine delayed-release tablet:
Should Asacol be taken before or after food?
Take the Asacol tablet on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
How long should you take Asacol?
Asacol HD isn’t meant to be used long term. Instead, it’s only used for a 6-week treatment course to reduce UC symptoms.