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Aminosalicylates

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Aminosalicylates Salofalk ® (Mesalazine EC); Pentasa ® (Mesalazine PR); Salofalk ® (Mesalazine) Rectal Foam; Sulfasalazine EC Adult

Aminosalicylates - What is it for

Aminosalicylates or 5-ASAs are used for inducing and maintaining remission in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. They reduce inflammation in the damaged lining of the intestine. Each brand works differently, releasing active drug in different part of the intestine. (Sulfasalazine may also be used in other condition like Rheumatoid Arthritis).

Your doctor will start you on the one that will give you the most benefit. It is important that you stick to the same medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Aminosalicylates - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Aminosalicylates cause?

You may experience the following side effects while on Aminosalicylates. Tell your doctor if you encounter any of them so that adjustments to your therapy may be made to reduce the occurrence of these side effects where possible. These include:

​SulfasalazineMesalazine (Oral)
​Common
  • ​Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Abdominal pain and indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Orange/ yellow discoloration of urine or perspiration from skin.
  • Extended wear soft contact lens may be permanently stained yellow
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Mild rash and itchiness
  • Drug fever- due to sulfa component
  • ​Nausea and vomiting
    Headache and dizziness
  • Abdominal pain and indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild rash and itchiness
Less common/ rare
  • Decrease in sperm production (reversible once stopped)
  • Yellowing of skin, eye
  • Pins and needles in hands and feet
  • Bone marrow suppression -
    manifested as sore throat, mouth ulcers, unexplained bruising/bleeding,
    unusual tiredness, prolonged
    infection or fever
  • Ringing in ears
  • Increased sensitivity to sun - apply sunscreen
  • Reversible lung inflammation
    manifested as breathlessness
  • Depression
  • Kidney pain/ inflammation
  • Pancreatitis manifested as severe abdominal pain
  • Yellowing of skin, eye
  • Bone marrow suppression -
    manifested as sore throat,
    mouth ulcers, unexplained
    bruising/bleeding, unusual
    tiredness, prolonged
    infection or fever
  • Kidney pain/ inflammation
  • Pancreatitis manifested as
    severe abdominal pain

 

If you experience any severe signs of illness, or side effects such as unexplained bruising, bleeding (nosebleeds), sore throat, fever or malaise, severe abdominal pain, or a blistering skin rash contact your doctor immediately.

Before taking Aminosalicylates, what precautions must I follow?

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Aminosalicylates?

Aminosalicylates - Dosage and How to Use

How should Aminosalicylates be used?

Oral 5-ASAs are usually taken twice or three times daily. Your doctor may start with a lower dose to minimize the side effects and increase the dose slowly over time.

Rectal 5-ASAs are usually given once at night, up to two times a day for severe condition.

Higher doses are usually given for acute attacks and lower doses are used to maintain remission.

Improvement in symptoms occur gradually, takes about 6-12 weeks to see effect.

 

How should it be taken?

Drugs​ ​Route​ ​Administration​Timing with regard to food
​Salofalk ® (Mesalazine) Rectal Foam​RectalRefer to Mesalazine Rectal Foam PIL
Pentasa ® (Mesalazine PR) tablet​Oral​Swallow whole; if unable
to swallow, tablets can
be dissolved in about
50mL of water. Do not
crush/chew the small
granules
​Take with or without food
​Salofalk ® (Mesalazine EC) tablet​Oral​Cannot be crush/ chew/
cut. Swallow whole. (Due
to pH-dependent
release nature of drug).
Take with plenty of fluid.
​Take 30-60 min before food.
​Sulfasalazine EC tablet​Oral​Recommended to
swallow whole to
prevent gastric side
effects. If unable to
swallow, tablet can be
crushed/cut.
Take with plenty of fluid.
​Take with or after food to
minimize side effects

 

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is nearer to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses at the same.

What should I do if I overdose?

Aminosalicylates - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Aminosalicylates safely?

How should I store Aminosalicylates?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#Store in cool, dry place away from direct heat and light. Do not refrigerate.

How should I dispose of Aminosalicylates safely?

Aminosalicylates - Additional Information

Aminosalicylates

  • If you are allergic to salicylic acid/ salicylates such as aspirin, please inform your doctor before taking this medication.

Sulfasalazine

  • If you are allergic to sulfa drugs (e.g. co-trimoxazole), or if you have ever developed any rash, hives, swelling or shortness of breath after taking a sulfa drug, please inform your doctor before taking this medication.
  • Please inform your doctor/pharmacist if you have G6PD deficiency or if you are pregnant/breastfeeding.
  • May reduce body’s ability to absorb folate, hence, your doctor may prescribe folic acid supplement together when needed.

As aminosalicylates may interact with some medications, please consult your pharmacist or doctor if you are taking or before taking any other medications. E.g. antacids, warfarin, digoxin.

  • Tags: Mesalazine, Sulfasalazine
  • Updated on Friday, January 1, 2016
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department KK Women's and Children's Hospital

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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