- What is mesalamine (Lialda), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What is mesalamine used for?
- 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 you pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should you know about mesalamine?
What is mesalamine (Lialda), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Mesalamine is an oral drug used for treating ulcerative colitis.
- Lialda is mesalamine in a form that is slowly released in the intestine so that it can be given just once-a-day.
- Other oral drugs containing mesalamine that are similar to Lialda include Asacol, Pentasa, and Apriso.
- Asacol and Pentasa, however, are given as multiple daily doses.
- 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 (i.e., prostaglandins) that produce inflammation in the colon.
- Prostaglandins are produced by cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes.
- These enzymes are over-active in individuals with ulcerative colitis.
- Mesalamine may work by blocking the activity of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, therefore, reducing the production of prostaglandins.
- Reduced prostaglandin production reduces inflammation in the colon and other symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis.
- Lialda is the brand name available for mesalamine.
- Mesalamine is not available is available in generic form.
- You need a prescription to obtain mesalamine.
- The FDA approved Lialda in January 2007.
What are the side effects of mesalamine?
The most common side effects are:
Other less common side effects include:
- increased heart rate,
- back pain,
- ear pain,
- blood disorders, and
- kidney dysfunction.
Possible serious side effects include an acute intolerance syndrome that resembles a flare of inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms include:
- acute abdominal pain,
- bloody diarrhea,
- itching, and
These symptoms usually subside once mesalamine is discontinued. Since mesalamine is related chemically to aspirin, individuals who are allergic to aspirin should not take mesalamine.
What is the dosage for mesalamine?
The recommended dose is 2.4 g or 4.8 g once daily with a meal. Tablets should be swallowed whole without breaking the coating.
Which drugs or supplements interact with mesalamine?
Specific drug interaction studies have not been conducted with Lialda. Other mesalamine medications have been associated with several drug interactions. Combining mesalamine with drugs that affect kidney function, for example, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (for example, ibuprofen), may increase the likelihood of kidney dysfunction. Concurrent use of mesalamine and 6-mercaptopurine or azathioprine (Imuran) may increase the likelihood of blood disorders. Mesalamine may increase the blood thinning effect of warfarin (Warfarin).
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Is mesalamine safe to take if you pregnant or breastfeeding?
- There are no adequate human studies of mesalamine use during pregnancy. Mesalamine is known to cross the placenta into the fetus, but animal studies revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus. Mesalamine should only be used during pregnancy if it is felt that the benefit of its use justifies the unknown risks.
- Mesalamine is excreted in breast milk. Mesalamine should only be used by nursing mothers if it is felt that the benefit of its use justifies the risk.
Mesalamine (Lialda) is a drug used for inducing remission in patients with active, mild to moderate of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. Common side effects include flatulence (gas) and headache.
Related Disease Conditions
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon. Symptoms and signs include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. Ulcerative colitis is closely related to Crohn's disease, and together they are referred to as inflammatory bowel disease. Treatment depends upon the type of ulcerative colitis diagnosed.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The intestinal complications of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis differ because of the characteristically dissimilar behaviors of the intestinal inflammation in these two diseases.
Crohn's Disease vs. Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are diseases that cause inflammation of part of or the entire digestive tract (GI). Crohn's affects the entire GI tract (from the mouth to the anus), while ulcerative colitis or ulcerative colitis only affects the large and small intestine and ilium. Researchers do not know the exact cause of either disease. About 20% of people with Crohn's disease also have a family member with the disease. Researchers believe that certain factors may play a role in causing UC. Both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are a type of inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis both have similar symptoms and signs, for example, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, episodic and/or persistent diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and cramping, rectal bleeding, bloody stools, joint pain and soreness, eye redness, or pain. Symptoms unique to Crohn’s disease include anemia and skin changes. Symptoms of unique to ulcerative colitis include certain rashes, and an urgency to defecate (have a bowel movement). Doctors diagnose both diseases with similar tests and procedures. While there is no cure for either disease, doctors and other health care professionals can help you treat disease flares, and manage your Crohn's or ulcerative colitis with medication, diet, nutritional supplements, and/or surgery.
Microscopic Colitis (Lymphocytic Colitis and Collagenous Colitis)
Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis) is a disease of inflammation of the colon. Microscopic colitis is only visible when the colon's lining is examined under a microscope. The cause of microscopic colitis is not known. Symptoms of microscopic colitis are chronic watery diarrhea and abdominal pain or cramps.
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