Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: olsalazine
BRAND NAME: Dipentum
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Olsalazine is an oral medication that works as an anti-inflammatory drug for treating inflammatory diseases of the colon. It is a derivative of salicylic acid. Inactive itself, it is converted by the bacteria in the colon to its active form, mesalamine. Following oral administration very little of the olsalazine (less than 10%) is absorbed from the intestine into the body. The benefit of mesalamine is believed to be due to a local effect from within the colon. Mesalamine also is thought to be the active component of another drug used for treating inflammatory diseases of the intestines, sulfasalazine (Azulfidine). Olsalazine was approved by the FDA in July 1990.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: no
PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 250 mg.
STORAGE: The capsules should be kept at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Olsalazine is used for maintaining remission of ulcerative colitis in patients who do not tolerate sulfasalazine.
DOSING: Olsalazine usually is administered at a dose of 500 mg (two capsules) twice daily. It should be taken with meals.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Administering salicylic acid derivatives with low molecular weight heparins (for example, enoxaparin) used as blood thinners may increase the risk of bleeding after neuraxial anesthesia (local anesthesia with anesthetics that are injected around nerves). Olsalazine may increase the effect of warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner, and cause bleeding. Administering olsalazine with 6-mercaptopurine or thioguanine may increase the risk of bone marrow suppression, resulting in decreased blood cells.
PREGNANCY: It is not known whether olsalazine crosses the placenta to the fetus.
SIDE EFFECTS: Gastrointestinal disturbances commonly occur in persons who take olsalazine. Diarrhea occurs in about 1 of every 6 persons who take it; about one in 20 need to discontinue therapy because the diarrhea is severe. Abdominal pain or cramps occur in 1 in 10 persons, and nausea or vomiting occurs in 1 in 20. Other side effects, including dizziness, depression, and headache, occur less frequently than gastrointestinal effects during therapy. Rashes occur in 2.3% of persons and joint pain in 4%.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/29/2012
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