Mesalamine is used to treat ulcerative colitis (a condition which causes swelling and sores in the lining of the colon [large intestine] and rectum) and also to maintain improvement of ulcerative colitis symptoms. Mesalamine is in a class of medications called anti-inflammatory agents. It works by stopping the body from producing a certain substance that may cause inflammation.
Mesalamine comes as a delayed-release (releases the medication in the intestine where its effects are needed) tablet, a delayed-release (releases the medication in the intestine where its effects are needed) capsule, a controlled-release (releases the medication throughout the digestive system) capsule, and as an extended-release (long-acting) capsule to take by mouth. Your doctor will tell you how often to take your medication, depending on your condition and how well your symptoms are controlled. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take mesalamine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the delayed-release tablets and delayed-release capsules whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Be careful not to break the protective coating on the delayed-release tablets.
Continue to take mesalamine until you finish your prescription, even if you feel better at the beginning of your treatment. Do not stop taking mesalamine without talking to your doctor.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
muscle or joint pain, aching, tightness or stiffness
slight hair loss
shortness of breath
black or tarry stools
vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
swelling of any part of the body
Mesalamine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat, light, and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
If you are taking mesalamine delayed-release tablets, you may notice the tablet shell or part of the tablet shell in your stool. Tell your doctor if this happens frequently.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests before and during your treatment.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking mesalamine.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 05/15/2014
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.