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.
Common side effects are:
Other important side effects include:
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%.
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