Asacol (Mesalamine)

Mesalamine (Asacol) is an anti-inflammatory drug approved for treatment of mild to moderate flare-ups of Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and help prevent UC from coming back (remission).

How should it be used?

  • Swallow whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush or chew.
  • Take with or without food.

This medicine is made to release after it passes through the stomach and goes into the intestines. If the tablets do not dissolve and show-up in the stool, contact the doctor.

Take the medicine as soon as possible if a dose is missed. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your regular scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

Special Precautions/Instructions

Before you begin taking this medicine tell your doctor about any of the following:

    • Medications (including over the counter), vitamins, herbal products, and supplements that you are taking.
    • Are allergic to salicylates (such as aspirin), mesalamine, or any of the ingredients that are in this medicine:

-mesalamine, colloidal silicon dioxide, dibutyl phthalate, edible black ink, iron oxide red, iron oxide yellow, lactose, magnesium stearate, methacrylic acid copolymer B (Eudragit S), polyethylene glycol, povidone, sodium starch glycolate, and talc

  • Have kidney problems.
  • Have a narrowing of the outlet from the stomach (pyloric stenosis)
  • Are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding.

It is also recommended that all people have their kidney function tested before taking this medicine.

Side Effects

The most common side effects include: diarrhea, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and rash.

Approximately 3% of patients in clinical trials with Asacol experienced a worsening of the symptoms of colitis.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience signs of an allergic reaction including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling sick
  • Fever, shivering/chills, rash
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Kidney problems (changes in the amount of urine or color of urine)
  • Tiredness, dizziness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Trouble breathing

Additional side effects may be found on the drug’s website: www.asacol.com.

Storage Conditions

This medication should be stored at room temperature.

Emergency/Overdose

Call the national poison control center 1-800-222-1222 or 911 in the event of overdose. Symptoms of an overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, fever, chills, and other signs of infection.

Pediatric Use

The safety and efficacy of this drug in pediatric patients have not yet been established.