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- What is olsalazine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for olsalazine?
- Is olsalazine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for olsalazine?
- What are the side effects of olsalazine?
- What is the dosage for olsalazine?
- Is olsalazine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about olsalazine?
What is olsalazine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of olsalazine?
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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What is the dosage for olsalazine?
Olsalazine usually is administered at a dose of 500 mg (two capsules) twice daily. It should be taken with meals.
Is olsalazine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Mesalamine, which is the active form of olsalazine, may be secreted into breast milk and cause diarrhea in the infant.
What else should I know about olsalazine?
What preparations of olsalazine are available?
Capsules: 250 mg.
How should I keep olsalazine stored?
The capsules should be kept at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
Olsalazine (Dipentum) is an oral medication prescribed for maintaining remission of ulcerative colitis who do not tolerate sulfasalazine (Azulfidine). Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this drug.
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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.
Top olsalazine Related Articles
Crohn's DiseaseCrohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect other parts of the digestive system as well. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss are common symptoms.
Crohns Disease vs Ulcerative Colitis UC
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 UC 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:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Episodic and/or persistent diarrhea
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Rectal bleeding
- Bloody stools
- Joint pain and soreness
- Eye redness or pain
Symptoms unique to Crohn's disease include:
- Skin changes
Symptoms of unique to ulcerative colitis include:
- Certain rashes
- 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 UC with medication, diet, nutritional supplements, and/or surgery.
CDC. "What is inflammatory bowel disease IBD?" Updated June 21, 2017.
NIH. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Ulcerative Colitis." September 2014.
NIH. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Symptoms and Causes of Crohn's Disease." November 2016.
NIH. National Human Genome Research Institute. "Learning About Crohn's Disease." Updated: Sep 27, 2011.
PubMed Health. "Ulcerative Colitis." Accessed Jul 24, 2017.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
mesalamineMesalamine (Pentasa, Rowasa, SfRowasa, Lialda, Canasa, Apriso, Delzicol) is a medication prescribed for ulcerative colitis and mild to moderate Crohn's disease. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and safety during pregnancy information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
sulfasalazineSulfasalazine (Azulfidine) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of mild to severe ulcerative colitis and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) has also been prescribed "off label" for Crohn's disease and ankylosing spondylitis. Side effects, warnings and precautions, drug interactions, and safety during pregnancy should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Ulcerative ColitisUlcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon. Symptoms 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.
Ulcerative Colitis QuizWhat is ulcerative colitis and what risks are associated with suffering over the long term? Take this Ulcerative Colitis Quiz to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments for this painful digestive disorder.