Mesalamine (also known as 5-aminosalicylic acid) is used to treat certain types of bowel disease (distal ulcerative colitis, proctosigmoiditis, proctitis). It does not cure these conditions, but it may relieve mild-to-moderate pain and decrease the frequency of diarrhea/bloody stools caused by irritation/swelling in the colon/rectum. Mesalamine is an aminosalicylate anti-inflammatory drug. It is believed to work by blocking the production of certain natural chemicals that may cause pain and swelling.
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.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using mesalamine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Visually inspect the contents of the bottle before use. The contents should be off-white to tan in color. A slight darkening of the medication is expected, but any enemas that turn dark brown should be discarded.
This medication works best if you have a bowel movement before using it. Shake the bottle well. Holding the bottle at the neck, remove the cover from the applicator tip. Lie on your left side with your right knee bent. Insert the tip of the bottle into the rectum, pointing toward the navel. Gently and steadily squeeze out the entire contents of the bottle. Remove the bottle. Remain in position for 30 minutes. Throw away the empty bottle. Try to keep the medication in the rectum for 8 hours.
This medication may stain surfaces that it touches (such as clothing, floor, and counter surfaces).
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Rectal pain, pain while inserting the bottle tip, gas, and joint/leg pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, 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, this medication may make symptoms of your condition worse rather than better (acute intolerance syndrome or sensitivity reaction). Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of these unlikely but serious side effects: worsening stomach pain/cramping, worsening bloody diarrhea, fever, severe/prolonged headache.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, trouble breathing, severe stomach/abdominal pain (especially if spreading to the back), change in the amount of urine.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other medications that are broken down into mesalamine (such as balsalazide, sulfasalazine, olsalazine); or to other salicylates (such as aspirin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as sulfites), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: asthma, kidney problems, pancreas problems (pancreatitis), inflammation of the sac around the heart (pericarditis).
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 just been given a live virus vaccine (such as varicella vaccine), without first consulting a doctor about 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.
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.
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.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or 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.
Do not share this medication with others.
If you miss a dose, use 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 between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Once the foil-wrapped unit of bottles is opened, use all enemas promptly as directed by your physician. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Information last revised April 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet