Asacol (mesalamine)

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Brand Name

Asacol {Warner Chilcott}

Generic Name

mesalamine, pronounced me SAL a meen


What is Asacol?

Asacol is a medication that treats ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and proctosigmoiditis, andalso helps to prevent the symptoms of ulcerative colitis from recurring. Asacol works byaffecting a substance in the body that causes inflammation, tissue damage, and diarrhea.


Key Facts About Asacol

You should not break, chew or crush the Asacol tablet, as it is specially formulated torelease the medicine after it has passed through your stomach into your intestines. Tell yourdoctor if you find undissolved tablets in your stool.

Tell your doctor immediately if you experience stomach pain that is severe, cramping, bloodydiarrhea, fever or headache while taking Asacol.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Asacol is in FDA pregnancycategory C. Asacol is not known to harm your unborn baby. Asacol passes into breast milkand may affect your baby. You should not take Asacol if you are breast-feeding.


Before You Take Asacol

If you are allergic to mesalamine, aspirin or other salicylates like Disalcid, Doan’s Pills,Dolobid, Salflex and Tricosal you should not take Asacol.

You may not be a candidate to take Asacol if you have a stomach condition called pyloricstenosis or a history of allergy to sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).

If you have kidney or liver disease you should inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or congestive heart failure before takingAsacol.


Asacol Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • amphotericin B (Fungizone, AmBisome, Amphotec, Abelcet)
  • antibiotics like capreomycin (Capastat), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater) and vancomycin(Vancocin, Vancoled)
  • antiviral medications like acyclovir (Zovirax), adefovir (Hepsera), cidofovir (Vistide) and
    foscarnet (Foscavir)
  • azathioprine (Imuran) or mercaptopurine (Purinethol)
  • cancer medications like aldesleukin (Proleukin), carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel), cisplatin(Platinol), ifosfamide (Ifex), oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), streptozocin (Zanosar), and tretinoin(Vesanoid)
  • NSAIDs or aspirin
  • pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam)
  • tacrolimus (Prograf)

Other drugs you take that are not listed may interact with Asacol. You should tell your doctorabout all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements andherbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new medicationwithout telling your doctor first.


Directions for Taking Asacol

Asacol may be taken with or without food. If you are concerned that Asacol may upset yourstomach you may take it with food or milk to lessen any potential stomach upset.

You should take Asacol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take Asacol in larger orsmaller amounts, or for shorter or longer than recommended. Follow the directions on yourprescription label.

You should take Asacol with a full (8 oz.) glass of water.

Do not break, chew or crush the Asacol tablet, as it is specially formulated to release themedicine after it has passed through your stomach into your intestines. You may also damage thespecial enteric coating if you do not swallow Asacol whole.

Asacol needs to be stored at room temperature, and away from light, moisture and heat.

Tell your doctor right away if you find undissolved tablets in your stool.

If you miss a dose of Asacol you should attempt to take the missed dose as soon as youremember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose do not take the missed dosein addition to your regular dose.


Asacol Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Asacol and seekemergency medical help immediately:

  • allergic reactions such as breathing difficulties, hives or swelling of your face, lips ,throat or tongue
  • severe stomach pain and cramping, bloody diarrhea, fever or headache

Less serious side effects of Asacol may include:

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fever
  • flu symptoms
  • gas
  • headache
  • mild skin rash
  • nausea
  • sore throat
  • stomach cramps
  • tired feeling
  • vomiting

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Asacol. Youshould contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.


Asacol Description and Dosing

Asacol is available as 400 mg delayed-release tablets. The tablets are red-brown,capsule-shaped and imprinted with “0752 DR” in black.

If you suspect that you have overdosed with Asacol you should seek emergency helpimmediately.


Ingredients in Asacol

The primary active ingredient in Asacol is mesalamine. Inactive ingredients are colloidalsilicon dioxide, dibutyl phthalate, edible black ink, iron oxide red, iron oxide yellow, lactosemonohydrate, magnesium stearate, methacrylic acid copolymer B (Eudragit S), polyethylene glycol,povidone, sodium starch glycolate, and talc.

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The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

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