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Generic Name: balsalazide (bal SAL a zide)
Brand Name: Colazal, Giazo

Medically reviewed by on Aug 13, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Colazal?

Colazal affects a substance in the body that causes inflammation, tissue damage, and diarrhea.

The Colazal brand of balsalazide is used to treat mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis in adults and children who are at least 5 years old.

The Giazo brand of balsalazide is used to treat mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis in men who are at least 18 years old.

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

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Colazal if you are allergic to Colazal or 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 Colazal is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • a stomach condition called pyloric stenosis.

Colazal tablets contain sodium. Talk to your doctor before using this form of balsalazide if you are on a low salt diet.

FDA pregnancy category B. Colazal is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether balsalazide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Colazal capsules should not be given to a child younger than 5 years old. This medicine tablets should not be given to anyone under 18 years old.

How should I take Colazal?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Colazal can be taken with or without food.

To make swallowing easier, you may open the Colazal capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow right away. Do not save the mixture for later use. The yellow-orange medicine from the capsule may stain your teeth or tongue when you use this method.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using Colazal.

Colazal is usually taken only for a short time (8 to 12 weeks). Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

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 while taking Colazal?

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

Colazal side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • worsening colitis symptoms--fever, stomach pain, cramps, or bloody diarrhea;

  • kidney problems--little or no urinating, swelling, rapid weight gain;

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

  • pain or burning when you urinate; or

  • anemia (low red blood cells)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating.

Common side effects may include:

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.

What other drug's will affect Colazal?

Other drugs may interact with balsalazide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.