Brand Names: Salazopyrin, Salazopyrin En-tabs
Other Names: 5-Aminosalacylic acid (5-ASA)

Why is this medicine prescribed?

This medication is used to decrease bowel inflammation, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and stomach pain associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

How should this medicine be used?
This medication should be taken after meals or with a light snack with a full (8 oz) glass of water. Be sure to drink six to eight full glasses of fluids (preferably water) throughout the day while taking this medication.

Sulfasalazine must be used regularly to be effective. Do not miss any doses or stop taking this medication even if you feel well without talking to your doctor.

Take this medication exactly as directed and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain anything you do not understand. Do not change the dose or frequency prescribed by your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking this medication, talk to your doctor and pharmacist about:

Allergies Pregnancy/Breastfeeding
  • if you are allergic to sulfasalazine or any other drugs, especially sulfonamides or sulfa-containing drugs
  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are
    breast feeding, call your doctor
Other medications Medical conditions
  • any prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking (including vitamins and herbal products)
  • any current or past medical conditions such as kidney

What should I do if I forget to take a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but do not double your next dose.

What side effects can this medicine cause?

The following side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, tell your doctor if these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • loss of appetite
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • orange-yellow discolouration of the urine
  • increased skin sensitivity to sunlight

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • aching of joints
  • fever
  • continuing or worsening headache
  • skin rash
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat, light and moisture (not in the bathroom). Dispose properly of any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What other information should I know?
Do not crush or chew tablets or capsules.This medication may make you more sensitive to sunlight, so plan to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, and wear sunscreen.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to sulfasalazine.

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Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases, Mount Sinai Hospital, Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex. Copyright © 1997 - 2017.
All Rights Reserved. A patient care, teaching and research centre affiliated with University of Toronto.
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