Mesalamine (By mouth)


Mesalamine (me-SAL-a-meen)

Treats and prevents flare-ups of ulcerative colitis.

Brand Name(s)

Apriso, Asacol HD, Delzicol, Lialda, Pentasa

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Delayed Release Capsule, Long Acting Capsule, Tablet, Delayed Release Tablet, Coated Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Swallow the capsule or tablet whole. Do not open, break, crush, or chew it.
  • Delayed-release capsule: Take at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
  • Lialda┬« delayed-release tablet: Take with food.
  • While taking the delayed-release capsule, extended-release capsule, or delayed-release tablet, part of the medicine may pass into your stools. Contact your doctor if this happens repeatedly.
  • Keep taking this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better after a few days.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. The medicine bottle might come with a small pouch (desiccant) inside it. Keep this pouch in the bottle to protect the medicine from moisture.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how mesalamine works. Tell your doctor if you are also using any of the following:
    • Azathioprine
    • Mercaptopurine
    • Antacid
    • NSAID pain or arthritis medicine, such as aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, a history of heart disease (such as myocarditis or pericarditis), or stomach problems (such as blockage, pyloric stenosis). Tell your doctor if you had an allergic reaction to sulfasalazine.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Mesalamine-induced acute intolerance syndrome
    • Kidney problems
    • Heart problems (myocarditis, pericarditis)
    • Liver failure in people who already have liver disease
  • The Apriso? extended-release capsules contain aspartame, which may be a problem for people who have phenylketonuria (PKU). Tell your doctor if you have PKU before you take these capsules.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Carefully follow all directions if you are changing from one brand of this medicine to another brand. Different brands may have different instructions because they are not the exact same formulation.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bloody diarrhea, severe cramping, stomach pain, fever, headache, rash
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, yellow skin or eyes
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate, difficult or painful urination
  • Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back or muscle pain
  • Mild constipation, diarrhea, gas, nausea, vomiting, or stomach upset

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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