Asacol (Mesalamine) Medication

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Asacol (Mesalamine)

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Description

Indications 

Asacol is a prescription medication indicated for the management of mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis and the maintenance of remission in patients with this condition. 

Belonging to the class of drugs called aminosalicylate, Asacol is believed to inhibit cyclooxygenase and suppress the production of prostaglandins in the colon, thereby alleviating inflammation in that area. 

Uses and Dosage 

Before taking Asacol and with each prescription refill, carefully read its medication guide and patient information leaflet. For questions or clarifications, do not hesitate to seek guidance from your doctor or pharmacist. 

Asacol dosage and length of intake may vary per individual based on their medical condition and response to the treatment. For children, weight is also taken into account. 

The usual dosing regimen of Asacol is listed here; however, if your doctor prescribes a different regimen, please follow it strictly: 

  • Mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis in adults: 2 tablets of 400 mg, thrice daily for 6 weeks (total daily dose of 2.4 g) 
  • Maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis in adults: 1.6 grams daily, divided into multiple doses 

Adequate fluid intake is recommended during Asacol treatment. The tablets should be taken whole and not cut, crushed, or chewed to ensure proper drug release in the colon. 

For optimal results, take Asacol regularly, around the same time daily, exactly as instructed by your doctor. Do not take less or more of it or take it longer or more frequently than prescribed. 

Complete the full course of Asacol as prescribed, even if there is an initial improvement in symptoms. Discontinuing treatment should only be done after consulting with a physician. 

Side Effects 

Listed below are the side effects associated with the use of Asacol. If any of them persist or worsen, inform your doctor right away. 

Common Side Effects 

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Indigestion 
  • Gas 
  • Headache 
  • Rash 
  • Abnormal liver function tests 

Serious Side Effects 

  • Severe stomach pain 
  • Stomach cramping 
  • Bloody diarrhea 
  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Skin rash 
  • Bloody or tarry stools 
  • Coughing up blood 
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds 
  • Little or no urination 
  • Painful or difficult urination 
  • Swelling in feet or ankles 
  • Feeling tired 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Upper stomach pain 
  • Easy bruising or bleeding 
  • Dark urine 
  • Clay-colored stools 
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice) 

Call your doctor immediately for medical assistance if you experience any of the serious symptoms mentioned above. 

Allergic Reactions 

Severe allergic reaction to Asacol is uncommon, however, immediate medical attention is necessary if any signs of a severe allergic reaction are detected, such as: 

  • Fever 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Rash 
  • Itching or swelling (particularly of the face, tongue, or throat) 
  • Severe dizziness 
  • Difficulty breathing 

This list does not contain all the potential side effects of Asacol. If you experience other effects not listed above, notify your doctor promptly.  

Cautions 

Before starting treatment with Asacol, inform your doctor and pharmacist if you have any known allergies, especially to: 

  • Mesalamine 
  • Other aminosalicylates such as balsalazide or olsalazine 
  • Salicylates such as aspirin or salsalate 
  • Sulfasalazine 
  • Other medicines 
  • Any ingredients present in Asacol tablets 

To ensure Asacol is safe for you, disclose to your physician your medical background, specifically regarding any history of: 

  • Kidney disease 
  • Liver disease 
  • Stomach blockage such as pyloric stenosis 

Asacol may interact with other medications, potentially affecting its efficacy or increasing the likelihood of severe side effects. To prevent such drug interactions, disclose to your physician and pharmacist all your current medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, and herbal products.  

Avoid taking drugs that contain balsalazide, olsalazine, or sulfasalazine while taking Asacol, as mesalamine is highly comparable to these compounds. 

Asacol shares similarities with aspirin. Children and teenagers under 18 years should refrain from taking aspirin or aspirin-related medications (like salicylates) in case of flu, chickenpox, undiagnosed illnesses, or recent vaccination. The use of aspirin in such cases can increase the risk of Reye’s syndrome, which is a rare yet severe illness. 

Asacol can potentially affect certain laboratory tests, such as urine normetanephrine levels, leading to inaccurate results. Inform laboratory personnel and all doctors about your use of this medication. 

Asacol can heighten your sensitivity to the sun, particularly if you have skin issues like atopic dermatitis or eczema. Minimize sun exposure, refrain from using tanning booths or sunlamps, and wear protective clothing and sunscreen when outdoors. If you get sunburned or notice skin blisters or redness, contact your doctor immediately. 

Asacol has the potential to cause a severe reaction, which can be challenging to distinguish from a flare-up of ulcerative colitis, given the similarity of symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms, including stomach pain or cramping, bloody diarrhea, fever, headache, weakness, or rash, contact your doctor immediately. 

Asacol usage during pregnancy should only be considered if the potential benefits outweigh the possible risks to the fetus. 

Mesalamine can be transferred to breast milk and may have negative impacts on a nursing infant. Consult with your doctor before breastfeeding while taking this medication. 

Additional information

Generic name:

Mesalamine

Formulation:

DR Tablet, Delayed Release Tablet

Strength(s):

400mg

Quantities Available:

100, 150, 180, 200

Quality Prescription Drugs has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Asacol (Mesalamine). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Asacol (Mesalamine).