Mesalamine (By mouth)
Treats and prevents an inflammatory bowel disease called ulcerative colitis.
Asacol, Pentasa, Apriso, Lialda, Asacol HD
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
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 (such as aspirin).
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.
- Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
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- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- 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, celecoxib, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, or Motrin®). 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, a history of heart disease (such as myocarditis or pericarditis), 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.
- Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Severe stomach cramps, especially in the upper abdominal or stomach area.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Unusual weakness or tiredness.
- Yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Back, joint, or muscle pain.
- Constipation or mild diarrhea.
- Dry mouth.
- 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
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013