Asacol (generic name: Mesalamine/5-ASA) is a drug which is prescribed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, proctitis and proctosigmoiditis. It is also used to prevent the symptoms of ulcerative colitis from reoccurring. It is an anti-inflammatory and works by affecting the substances in the body that are responsible for causing inflammation, tissue damage and diarrhea. It is the only sulfa free medication for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Asacol is a delayed relief tablet, and in a 6 week study of the drug it showed that it was able to reduce ulcerative colitis symptoms including bleeding from the rectum, reducing abdominal pain and helping to reduce bowel movements. Asacol is coated with a specially formulated substance which can only be penetrated in the intestines to ensure that it is not released in the stomach, as this is where it is needed to work effectively. When it reaches the small intestine, it begins to dissolve and releases the active ingredient 5-ASA which then acts through the whole colon, and right at the site of the colitis to reduce inflammation and swelling of the lining of the colon and rectum.
Asacol Side Effects:
As with any drug, there may be side effects from taking Asacol including nausea, vomiting, constipation diarrhea, stomach pain/cramps, headache, dizziness, fatigue, skin rash, fever and sore throat. More serious side effects may include severe stomach pain/cramps, fever and blood in the stools. If you experience any side effects you must seek medical attention immediately for safety.
You should follow the directions of the doctor who prescribed Asacol to you. Directions and dosage information will also be provided on the pack. Asacol comes in tablet form, and should be swallowed with water. You must not break or crush tablets and should swallow them whole. Asacol can be taken with or without food. Asacol should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat.
If you are allergic to any of the ingredients of Asacol or aspirin you should not take it and should inform your doctor. You should inform your doctor if you have any pre-existing medical conditions including kidney or liver disease, heart disease, pyloric stenosis or heart disease. You should also inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications as they may interact with Asacol including azathioprine, mercaptopurine, antibiotics, cancer medications, NSAIDs, aspirin, antivirals, pentamidine, tacrolimus and amphotericin B. You should inform your doctor as soon as possible if you see undigested tablets in your stool. If you are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding you should consult your doctor.
The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
All prices are in US dollars.
Back to Drug Categories Page