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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.
- The brand name for olsalazine is Dipentum.
- Olsalazine is not available in generic form. You need a prescription to obtain this drug.
What is olsalazine used for?
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%.
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 you are 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 you 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).
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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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Related Disease Conditions
Crohn'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.
Ulcerative 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.
Crohn's 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 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, 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.
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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.