Generic Name: mesalamine (oral) (me SAL a meen)
Brand Names: Apriso, Asacol, Delzicol, Lialda, Pentasa

What is Pentasa?

Pentasa (mesalamine) affects a substance in the body that causes inflammation, tissue damage, and diarrhea.

Pentasa is used to treat ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and proctosigmoiditis. Mesalamine is also used to prevent the symptoms of ulcerative colitis from recurring.

Pentasa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Stop using Pentasa and call your doctor at once if you have severe stomach pain, cramping, fever, headache, and bloody diarrhea.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Pentasa if you are allergic to mesalamine or to aspirin or other salicylates (such as Nuprin Backache Caplet, Kaopectate, KneeRelief, Pamprin Cramp Formula, Pepto-Bismol, Tricosal, Trilisate, and others).

To make sure Pentasa is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a stomach condition called pyloric stenosis;

  • a history of allergy to sulfasalazine (Azulfidine);

  • heart disease;

  • kidney disease; or

  • liver disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Pentasa will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

Mesalamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Pentasa?

Take Pentasa exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take Pentasa with a full glass of water.

Pentasa can be taken with or without food. Follow your doctor's instructions.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are taking Pentasa.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Pentasa side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Pentasa: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Pentasa and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe stomach pain, cramping, bloody diarrhea;

  • fever, headache, skin rash;

  • chest pain, shortness of breath;

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • little or no urinating;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or

  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common Pentasa side effects may include:

  • mild stomach discomfort, gas, vomiting;

  • flu symptoms, runny nose;

  • diarrhea, constipation;

  • dizziness, weakness; or

  • back pain, joint pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Pentasa?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Pentasa, especially:

  • amphotericin B;

  • azathioprine or mercaptopurine;

  • pentamidine;

  • tacrolimus;

  • an antibiotic--capreomycin, rifampin, vancomycin;

  • antiviral medicines--acyclovir, adefovir, cidofovir, foscarnet;

  • cancer medicine--aldesleukin, carmustine, cisplatin, ifosfamide, oxaliplatin, streptozocin, tretinoin; or

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Pentasa. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Pentasa.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Pentasa only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.04. Revision Date: 2013-08-23, 1:05:43 PM.

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