This medication is used to treat a certain bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). It helps to reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis such as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and stomach pain. Mesalamine belongs to a class of drugs known as aminosalicylates. It works by decreasing swelling in the colon.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to treat Crohn's disease.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning.
Swallow the capsules whole. Do not chew or crush the capsules or take the drug with antacids. Doing so can keep the drug from being released properly into the colon.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Headache or abdominal pain may occur. If either of these effects persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Infrequently, mesalamine can worsen ulcerative colitis. Tell your doctor right away if your symptoms worsen after starting this medication (such as increased abdominal pain/cramping, bloody diarrhea, fever).
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: change in the amount of urine, dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, chest pain, shortness of breath.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before taking mesalamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other aminosalicylates (such as balsalazide, olsalazine); or to salicylates (such as aspirin, salsalate); or to sulfasalazine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication may contain aspartame. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid aspartame (or phenylalanine) in your diet, ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this medication safely.
This medication is similar to aspirin. Children and teenagers should not take aspirin or aspirin-related medications (such as salicylates) if they have chickenpox, flu, or any undiagnosed illness, or if they have recently received a vaccine. In these cases, taking aspirin increases the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
See also How to Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Mesalamine is very similar to balsalazide, olsalazine, and sulfasalazine. Do not use medications containing balsalazide, olsalazine, or sulfasalazine while using mesalamine.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including urine normetanephrine levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: ringing in the ears, confusion, rapid breathing, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised April 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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