sulfasalazine, Azulfidine (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

SIDE EFFECTS: Gastrointestinal disturbances frequently occur in patients taking sulfasalazine that may include:

Headache, allergic reactions, and photosensitivity (development of a rash when exposed to sunlight) may develop during sulfasalazine therapy and require medical attention. Some of the allergic reactions may progress from a rash to difficulty in swallowing, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, aching joints and muscles, and unusual tiredness or weakness. It may be accompanied by fever. The more severe allergic reactions are rare.

Sulfasalazine may cause the skin or the urine to change color.

Development of an orange-yellow discoloration of the urine is no cause for concern.

Several potentially dangerous side effects have been reported rarely with sulfasalazine. A drop in white blood cell count or a type of anemia in which red blood cells are disrupted (hemolyzed) may occur. These effects are characterized by fever, pale skin, sore throat, fatigue, and unusual bleeding and bruising, and require discontinuation of the drug. Liver failure, pancreatitis, and kidney failure also have been associated with sulfasalazine.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 500 mg. Suspension: 250 mg/5 ml.

STORAGE: The tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C -30 C (59 F- 86 F).

DOSING:

  • For treating ulcerative colitis, adult doses range from 3000 mg to 4000 mg daily. Treatment may be started at 1000 to 2000 mg daily to reduce stomach upset.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is treated with 2000 to 3000 mg daily. Treatment may be started with 500 to 1000 mg daily.
  • Sulfasalazine is administered 3 to 4 times daily. It should be taken with a full glass of water after meals or with food to minimize upset stomach.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/30/2014


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index