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All about: Pentasa

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Generic Name: mesalamine (oral) (me SAL a meen)
Brand Names: Asacol, Lialda, Pentasa

What is mesalamine oral?

Mesalamine affects a substance in the body that causes inflammation, tissue damage, and diarrhea.

Mesalamine is used to treat ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and proctosigmoiditis. Mesalamine is also used to prevent the symptoms of ulcerative colitis from recurring.

Mesalamine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about mesalamine oral?

Tell your doctor if you have any type of kidney or liver disease, or if you are allergic to aspirin. You may not be able to use mesalamine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment. Do not crush, break, or chew a mesalamine tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially formulated to release the medicine after it has passed through your stomach into your intestines.

Call your doctor if you find undissolved tablets in your stool.

Stop using mesalamine and call your doctor at once if you have severe stomach pain, cramping, fever, headache, and bloody diarrhea.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking mesalamine oral?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to mesalamine or to aspirin or other salicylates (such as Disalcid, Doan's Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others).

Before using mesalamine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • a stomach condition called pyloric stenosis;

  • a history of allergy to sulfasalazine (Azulfidine);

  • a heart condition such as congestive heart failure;

  • kidney disease; or

  • liver disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use mesalamine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Mesalamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take mesalamine oral?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take mesalamine with a full glass of water.

Mesalamine can be taken with or without food.

Do not crush, break, or chew a mesalamine tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially formulated to release the medicine after it has passed through your stomach into your intestines.

Call your doctor if you find undissolved tablets in your stool.

Store mesalamine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a mesalamine overdose may include ringing in your ears, dizziness, headache, confusion, drowsiness, sweating, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What should I avoid while taking mesalamine oral?

There are no restrictions on foods, beverages, or activities during therapy with mesalamine unless your doctor directs otherwise.

Mesalamine oral side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these 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 any of these serious side effects:
  • severe stomach pain, cramping, fever, headache, and bloody diarrhea.

Continue using mesalamine and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, gas;

  • fever, sore throat, or other flu symptoms;

  • constipation;

  • headache or dizziness;

  • tired feeling; or

  • skin rash.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect mesalamine oral?

Before taking mesalamine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • azathioprine (Imuran) or mercaptopurine (Purinethol);

  • pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam);

  • tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • amphotericin B (Fungizone, AmBisome, Amphotec, Abelcet);

  • antibiotics such as capreomycin (Capastat), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater), vancomycin (Vancocin, Vancoled);

  • antiviral medicines such as acyclovir (Zovirax), adefovir (Hepsera), cidofovir (Vistide), or foscarnet (Foscavir);

  • cancer medicine such as aldesleukin (Proleukin), carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel), cisplatin (Platinol), ifosfamide (Ifex), oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), plicamycin (Mithracin), streptozocin (Zanosar), or tretinoin (Vesanoid); or

  • aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), diflunisal (Dolobid), etodolac (Lodine), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel).

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect mesalamine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about mesalamine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Mesalamine is available with a prescription under the brand names Asacol and Pentasa. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Asacol 400 mg Delayed-Release Tablets--reddish-brown, capsule-shaped tablets

  • Pentasa 250 mg Controlled-Release Tablets--green/blue capsules

  • 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.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.09. Revision Date: 2/9/07 10:59:12 AM.

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