Generic Name: Mesalamine Long-Acting Capsules (Pentasa) (me SAL a meen)
Brand Name: Pentasa
Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018.
Uses of Pentasa:
- It is used to treat ulcerative colitis.
- It is used to help keep ulcerative colitis flares from coming back.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Pentasa?
- If you have an allergy to mesalamine, salicylates, sulfasalazine, or any other part of Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
- If you have had the varicella vaccine in the past 6 weeks.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Pentasa?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)) affects you.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)).
- You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- Some males have had sperm problems while taking Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)). This may affect being able to father a child. This may go back to normal after the drug is stopped. Talk with the doctor.
- You may see parts of Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)) in your stool. If this happens a lot, talk with your doctor.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Do not give to children and teenagers who have or are getting better from flu signs, chickenpox, or other viral infections due to the chance of Reye's syndrome. Reye's syndrome causes very bad problems to the brain and liver.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)) while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Pentasa) best taken?
Use Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Keep taking Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Take with a full glass of water.
- Take with or without food.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew or crush.
- If you cannot swallow Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)) whole, you may sprinkle the contents on applesauce or yogurt. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Feeling confused.
- A fast heartbeat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Fever or chills.
- Very bad headache.
- Very bad dizziness.
- Very bad back pain.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Some people may have a reaction to Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)) that looks like the signs of ulcerative colitis. Call your doctor right away if you have very bad belly pain or cramps, bloody stools, fever, headache, or rash.
What are some other side effects of Pentasa?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Belly pain or heartburn.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Runny nose.
- Stuffy nose.
- Sore throat.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Back pain.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling tired or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Pentasa?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Protect from light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Pentasa (mesalamine long-acting capsules (pentasa)), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about Pentasa (mesalamine)
- Pentasa Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 49 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: 5-aminosalicylates