mesalamine, Pentasa, Rowasa, Asacol, Asacol HD, Lialda, Canasa, Apriso, Delzicol

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: mesalamine (5-aminosalicylic acid)

BRAND NAMES: Pentasa, Rowasa, Asacol, Asacol HD, Lialda, Canasa, Apriso, Delzicol

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Mesalamine is a drug used for treating ulcerative colitis and mild to moderate Crohn’s disease. The exact mechanism 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. Available forms of mesalamine differ in their route of administration and how often they are administered. Mesalamine was approved by the FDA in December 1987.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes (rectal enema)

PREPARATIONS:

  • Tablets (delayed release): 800 mg (Asacol), 1.2 g (Lialda).
  • Capsules (extended or delayed release): 375 mg (Apriso); 250, 500 mg (Pentasa); 400 mg (Delzicol)
  • Rectal enema (Rowasa): 4 g per 60 mL.
  • Rectal suppositories (Canasa): 1000 mg.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/29/2014



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