balsalazide disodium, Colazal

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GENERIC NAME: balsalazide disodium

BRAND NAME: Colazal, Giazo

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Balsalazide disodium is an oral anti-inflammatory drug that is used for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. It is a form of mesalamine (5-aminosalicyclic acid) that is activated by colonic bacteria when it reaches the colon. The exact mechanism of action of mesalamine is not known but is believed to be by reducing inflammation in the colon. Ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory diseases cause excessive production of chemicals, for example, prostaglandins, that produce inflammation in the colon. Prostaglandins are produced by the enzymes, cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase. These enzymes are over-active in individuals with ulcerative colitis. Mesalamine may work by blocking the activity of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, thereby, reducing the production of prostaglandins. Reduced production of prostaglandins decreases inflammation in the colon and the symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis. Other branded, mesalamine-containing drugs include mesalamine (Pentasa, Rowasa, and Asacol). Balsalazide disodium was approved by the FDA in July 2000.




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