Medically reviewed on Sep 14, 2018
What is mesalamine?
Mesalamine affects a substance in the body that causes inflammation, tissue damage, and diarrhea.
Some brands of mesalamine are for use only in adults, and some brands are for use in children who are at least 5 years old.
Mesalamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use mesalamine if you are allergic to mesalamine, aspirin, sulfasalazine, or salicylates (such as Nuprin Backache Caplet, Kaopectate, KneeRelief, Pamprin Cramp Formula, Pepto-Bismol, Tricosal, Trilisate, and others).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
a blockage in your stomach or intestines (such as pyloric stenosis);
a skin condition such as eczema;
liver disease; or
This medicine may contain phenylalanine. Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Some brands of mesalamine are not approved for use in anyone younger than 18 years old. Delzicol should not be given to a child younger than 5 years old.
How should I take mesalamine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take Asacol HD on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Lialda should be taken with a meal.
Other brands of mesalamine can be taken with or without food. Follow your doctor's instructions or the directions on your medicine label.
Swallow the capsule or tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it. Tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing the pill.
If you cannot swallow a Pentasa capsule whole, open it and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of yogurt or applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.
Tell your doctor if you find undissolved mesalamine tablets in your stool.
Call your doctor if your ulcerative colitis symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using mesalamine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
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 mesalamine?
Mesalamine could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Ask your doctor before using an antacid, and use only the type your doctor recommends. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb mesalamine.
Mesalamine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using mesalamine and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, cramping, bloody diarrhea;
fever, headache, skin rash;
bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
kidney problems--little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or
liver problems--loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, tiredness, easy bruising or bleeding, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
runny or stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat;
headache, back pain;
abnormal liver function tests.
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 mesalamine?
Mesalamine can harm your kidneys, especially if you also use certain medicines for infections, cancer, osteoporosis, organ transplant rejection, bowel disorders, or pain or arthritis (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).
Other drugs may affect mesalamine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 12.01.
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