Generic Name: sulfasalazine (SUL-fa-SAL-a-zeen)
Brand Name: Azulfidine
Azulfidine is used for:
Treating ulcerative colitis. It is also used to increase the time between attacks of ulcerative colitis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Azulfidine is a salicylate. It decreases inflammation. Exactly how it works to treat ulcerative colitis is not known.
Do NOT use Azulfidine if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Azulfidine
- you are allergic to salicylates (eg, aspirin) or sulfonamide (eg, sulfamethoxazole)
- you have the blood disorder porphyria or a stomach, bowel, or urinary tract blockage
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Azulfidine:
Some medical conditions may interact with Azulfidine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have liver or kidney problems, asthma, severe allergies, blood problems (eg, anemia, low white blood cell levels), thyroid problems, or rheumatoid arthritis
- if you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
- if you have an infection (eg, strep throat)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Azulfidine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or methotrexate because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Azulfidine
- Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), digoxin, or folic acid because their effectiveness may be decreased by Azulfidine
- Methenamine because the risk of crystals in the urine may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Azulfidine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Azulfidine:
Use Azulfidine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take Azulfidine by mouth after meals.
- Take Azulfidine with a full glass of water (8 oz [240 mL]).
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Azulfidine is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Space your doses evenly over the hours you are awake. If possible, try not to space your doses more than 8 hours apart.
- Take Azulfidine on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
- Continue to take Azulfidine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of Azulfidine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Azulfidine.
Important safety information:
- Azulfidine may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Azulfidine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Azulfidine may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Azulfidine. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- Azulfidine may discolor the urine or skin to an orange-yellow color. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- Severe and sometimes fatal allergic reactions, kidney problems, liver problems, lung problems, blood problems, and permanent nerve or muscle problems have happened in patients taking Azulfidine. Talk with your doctor for more information.
- Some men taking Azulfidine have developed a decreased number of sperm and infertility. These effects usually went away after Azulfidine was stopped. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Diabetes patients - Azulfidine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Azulfidine may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Azulfidine.
- Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, complete blood cell counts, or urine tests, may be performed while you use Azulfidine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Azulfidine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Azulfidine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Azulfidine while you are pregnant. Azulfidine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Azulfidine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of Azulfidine:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Headache; loss of appetite; mild stomach upset or pain; nausea; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); bloody diarrhea; bluish discoloration of the skin or nails; chest pain; decreased urination; fever, chills, or sore throat; hearing loss; mental or mood changes; muscle pain; numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, drowsiness, headache, or trouble sleeping; severe or persistent stomach pain; shortness of breath; swelling or soreness of the mouth or tongue; swollen glands; symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing if the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, severe or persistent nausea or vomiting, persistent loss of appetite); trouble walking; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; unusually pale skin.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Azulfidine:
Store Azulfidine at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Azulfidine out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Azulfidine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Azulfidine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Azulfidine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Azulfidine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Azulfidine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Azulfidine.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More Azulfidine resources
- Azulfidine Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Azulfidine Oral, Rectal Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Azulfidine Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Azulfidine Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Sulfasalazine Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Sulfasalazine Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- sulfasalazine Oral, Rectal Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information