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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 17, 2020.


(ole SAL a zeen)

Index Terms

  • Olsalazine Sodium

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Capsule, Oral, as sodium:

Dipentum: 250 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Dipentum

Pharmacologic Category

  • 5-Aminosalicylic Acid Derivative


Mesalamine (5-aminosalicylic acid) is the active component of olsalazine; the specific mechanism of action of mesalamine is unknown; however, it is thought that it modulates local chemical mediators of the inflammatory response, especially leukotrienes, and is also postulated to be a free radical scavenger or an inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor (TNF); action appears topical rather than systemic.


<3%; very little intact olsalazine is systemically absorbed


Primarily via colonic bacteria to active drug, 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA)


Primarily feces; urine (<1%)

Time to Peak

~1 hour

Half-Life Elimination

54 minutes

Protein Binding

Plasma: >99%

Use: Labeled Indications

Ulcerative colitis, remission maintenance: Maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis in patients intolerant to sulfasalazine.

Off Label Uses

Ulcerative colitis, remission induction

Data from 2 small randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies and 1 small randomized study of olsalazine in the treatment of ulcerative colitis supports the use of olsalazine for induction of remission in patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis [Feurle 1989], [Kruis 1998], [Zinberg 1990].

Based on the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) guidelines on the management of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, olsalazine is an option for induction of remission in patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis [AGA [Ko 2019]].


Hypersensitivity to olsalazine, salicylates, or any component of the formulation

Dosing: Adult

Ulcerative colitis, remission maintenance: Oral: 1 g/day in 2 divided doses.

Ulcerative colitis, remission induction (off-label use): Oral: 2 to 3 g/day in 2 to 4 divided doses (Fuerle 1989; Kruis 1998; Zinberg 1990).

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.


Oral: Administer with food in evenly divided doses.


Store at 20°C to 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F).

Drug Interactions

Cardiac Glycosides: 5-Aminosalicylic Acid Derivatives may decrease the serum concentration of Cardiac Glycosides. Monitor therapy

Heparin: 5-Aminosalicylic Acid Derivatives may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Heparin. Specifically, the risk for bleeding/bruising may be increased. Monitor therapy

Heparins (Low Molecular Weight): 5-Aminosalicylic Acid Derivatives may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Heparins (Low Molecular Weight). Specifically, the risk for bleeding/bruising may be increased. Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents: May enhance the nephrotoxic effect of 5-Aminosalicylic Acid Derivatives. Monitor therapy

Thiopurine Analogs: 5-Aminosalicylic Acid Derivatives may decrease the metabolism of Thiopurine Analogs. Monitor therapy

Varicella Virus-Containing Vaccines: 5-Aminosalicylic Acid Derivatives may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Varicella Virus-Containing Vaccines. The primary concern is the potential development of Reye's Syndrome, a condition that has been associated with the use of salicylates in children with varicella infections. Management: Avoid administration of salicylates for at least 6 weeks after adminstration of a varicella virus-containing vaccine. Consider therapy modification

Adverse Reactions

>10%: Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea (11% to 17%)

1% to 10%:

Central nervous system: Depression (2%), dizziness (≤1%), vertigo (≤1%)

Dermatologic: Skin rash (2%), pruritus (1%)

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal cramps (≤10%), abdominal pain (≤10%), nausea (5%), bloating (2%), stomatitis (1%), vomiting (1%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Arthralgia (4%)

Respiratory: Upper respiratory tract infection (2%)

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Alopecia, anemia, angioedema, aplastic anemia, bloody stools, blurred vision, bronchospasm, cholestatic hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, chest pain, chills, dehydration, dyspnea, dysuria, emotional lability, eosinophilia, epigastric distress, erythema, erythema nodosum, exacerbation of ulcerative colitis, fever, flatulence, hematuria, hemolytic anemia, hepatic cirrhosis, hepatitis, hepatic failure, hepatic necrosis, hot flash, hypermenorrhea, hypertension, impotence, increased gamma-glutamyl transferase, increased lactate dehydrogenase, increased serum alkaline phosphatase, increased serum ALT, increased serum AST, increased serum bilirubin, insomnia, interstitial nephritis, interstitial pneumonitis, irritability, jaundice, Kawasaki-like syndrome, leukopenia, local discomfort (rectal), lymphocytopenia, muscle cramps, myalgia, myocarditis, nephrotic syndrome, neutropenia, orthostatic hypotension, palpitations, pancreatitis, pancytopenia, paresthesia, pericarditis, peripheral edema, peripheral neuropathy, proteinuria, rectal hemorrhage, reticulocytosis, rigors, second degree atrioventricular block, skin photosensitivity, tachycardia, thrombocytopenia, tinnitus, tremor, urinary frequency, watery eyes, xerophthalmia, xerostomia


Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Colitis: May exacerbate symptoms of colitis.

• Diarrhea: A common adverse effect is diarrhea.

Disease-related concerns:

• Asthma: Use with caution in patients with severe allergies or asthma.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; monitor closely.

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment; monitor closely.

Special populations:

• Elderly: Use with caution.

Monitoring Parameters

CBC; hepatic function at baseline; renal function at baseline, 6 and 12 months during treatment, and annually thereafter (Cunliffe 2001); stool frequency; improvement in signs/symptoms of ulcerative colitis

Pregnancy Risk Factor


Pregnancy Considerations

Animal studies have demonstrated fetal developmental toxicities. There are no well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Use during pregnancy only if clearly necessary.

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to treat ulcerative colitis.

• It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

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:

• Abdominal pain

• Abdominal cramps

• Nausea

• Headache

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:

• Kidney problems like unable to pass urine, blood in the urine, change in amount of urine passed, or weight gain

• Diarrhea

• 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.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine's uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

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