Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Apriso; Asacol HD; Asacol [DSC]; Canasa; Delzicol; Lialda; Pentasa; Rowasa; SfRowasa

Brand Names: Canada

Asacol; Asacol 800; Mesasal; Mezavant; Pentasa; Salofalk; Teva-5 ASA

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat ulcerative colitis.
  • It is used to help keep ulcerative colitis flares from coming back.
  • It is used to treat mild to moderate disease at the far end of the colon.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to mesalamine, salicylates, sulfasalazine, or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
  • If you have had the varicella vaccine in the past 6 weeks.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take this drug.
  • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • Some males have had sperm problems while taking this drug. This may affect being able to father a child. This may go back to normal after the drug is stopped. Talk with the doctor.
  • Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Do not give to children and teenagers who have or are getting better from flu signs, chickenpox, or other viral infections due to the chance of Reye’s syndrome. Reye’s syndrome causes very bad problems to the brain and liver.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

All oral products:

  • You may see parts of this drug in your stool. If this happens a lot, talk with your doctor.

Long-acting capsules (Apriso):

  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.
  • Do not take antacids at the same time as this drug. Talk with your doctor.

All rectal products:

  • This drug may stain fabric, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, vinyl, and enamel.
  • If you are allergic to sulfites, talk with your doctor. Some products have sulfites.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Feeling confused.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Very bad dizziness.
  • Very bad back pain.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Some people may have a reaction to this drug that looks like the signs of ulcerative colitis. Call your doctor right away if you have very bad belly pain or cramps, bloody stools, fever, headache, or rash.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

All products:

  • Belly pain or heartburn.
  • Headache.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Dizziness.
  • Gas.
  • Runny nose.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Sore throat.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Back pain.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Feeling tired or weak.

All rectal products:

  • Rectal irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.

All oral products:

  • Take with a full glass of water.


  • Some drugs may need to be taken with food or on an empty stomach. For some drugs it does not matter. Check with your pharmacist about how to take this drug.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • If you have trouble swallowing, talk with your doctor.


  • Take with or without food.

Long-acting capsules (Pentasa):

  • Swallow whole. Do not chew or crush.
  • If you cannot swallow this drug whole, you may sprinkle the contents on applesauce or yogurt. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing.

Long-acting capsules (Delzicol):

  • Swallow whole. Do not chew or crush.
  • If you cannot swallow this drug whole, you may open the capsules and swallow the contents. Be sure to swallow the contents and that none stay in your mouth. Swallow the contents whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.

All other capsule products:

  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, open, or crush.
  • If you have trouble swallowing, talk with your doctor.

All rectal products:

  • You could be on both a tablet or capsule and a rectal product at the same time.

Rectal enema:

  • Use enema rectally.
  • Shake suspension well before use.
  • Keep suspension in your rectum as long as you can.


  • Use suppository rectally.
  • Use at bedtime.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • If suppository is soft, chill in a refrigerator or run cold water over it.
  • Take foil off the suppository and put in, pointed end first. Do not handle too much. Keep the suppository in for 1 to 3 hours or longer if you can. Do not cut or break the suppository.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All oral products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Store in the original container. Do not take out the antimoisture cube or packet.

Rectal enema:

  • Store rectal suspension in foil until ready to use. Do not refrigerate.
  • Protect rectal suspension from heat.
  • Do not use if suspension changes color.


  • Store at room temperature or in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

All products:

  • Protect from light.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



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