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- What is mesalamine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for mesalamine?
- Is mesalamine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for mesalamine?
- What are the side effects of mesalamine?
- What is the dosage for mesalamine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with mesalamine?
- Is mesalamine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about mesalamine?
What is mesalamine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What brand names are available for mesalamine?
Pentasa, Rowasa, Asacol, Asacol HD, Lialda, Canasa, Apriso, Delzicol
Is mesalamine available as a generic drug?
Yes (rectal enema)
Do I need a prescription for mesalamine?
What are the side effects of mesalamine?
The most common side effects of mesalamine are:
Infrequent side effects include:
Kidney dysfunction has been associated with mesalamine. Kidney function should be evaluated prior to and periodically during mesalamine therapy.
Mesalamine may cause an acute intolerance syndrome that resembles a flare of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis) with cramping, abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea. Fever, headache, itching, and rash also may occur. Symptoms usually subside once mesalamine is discontinued.
Mesalamine enemas contain sulfites and should be avoided in persons who are sensitive to sulfites.
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