Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) tablets have been evaluated in 3685 inflammatory bowel disease patients (most patients with ulcerative colitis) in controlled and open-label studies. Adverse events seen in clinical trials with Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) tablets have generally been mild and reversible. Adverse events presented in the following sections may occur regardless of length of therapy and similar events have been reported in short- and long-term studies and in the post-marketing setting.
In two short-term (6 weeks) placebo-controlled clinical studies involving 245 patients, 155 of whom were randomized to Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) tablets, five (3.2%) of the Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) patients discontinued Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) therapy because of adverse events as compared to two (2.2%) of the placebo patients. Adverse reactions leading to withdrawal from Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) tablets included (each in one patient): diarrhea and colitis flare; dizziness, nausea, joint pain, and headache; rash, lethargy and constipation; dry mouth, malaise, lower back discomfort, mild disorientation, mild indigestion and cramping; headache, nausea, aching, vomiting, muscle cramps, a stuffy head, plugged ears, and fever.
Adverse events occurring in Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) -treated patients at a frequency of 2% or greater in the two short-term, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials mentioned above are listed in Table 1 below. Overall, the incidence of adverse events seen with Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) tablets was similar to placebo.
Table 1 : Frequency (%) of Common Adverse Events Reported
in Ulcerative Colitis Patients Treated with Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) Tablets or Placebo in Short-Term
(6-Week) Double-Blind Controlled Studies
|Event||Percent of Patients with Adverse Events|
(n = 87)
(n = 152)
Of these adverse events, only rash showed a consistently higher frequency with increasing Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) dose in these studies.
In a 6-month placebo-controlled maintenance trial involving 264 patients, 177 of whom were randomized to Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) tablets, six (3.4%) of the Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) patients discontinued Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) therapy because of adverse events, as compared to four (4.6%) of the placebo patients. Adverse reactions leading to withdrawal from Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) tablets included (each in one patient): anxiety; headache; pruritus; decreased libido; rheumatoid arthritis; and stomatitis and asthenia.
In the 6-month placebo-controlled maintenance trial, the incidence of adverse events seen with Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) tablets was similar to that seen with placebo. In addition to events listed in Table 1, the following adverse events occurred in Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) -treated patients at a frequency of 2% or greater in this study: abdominal enlargement, anxiety, bronchitis, ear disorder, ear pain, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, infection, joint disorder, migraine, nervousness, paresthesia, rectal disorder, rectal hemorrhage, sinusitis, stool abnormalities, tenesmus, urinary frequency, vasodilation, and vision abnormalities.
In 3342 patients in uncontrolled clinical studies, the following adverse events occurred at a frequency of 5% or greater and appeared to increase in frequency with increasing dose: asthenia, fever, flu syndrome, pain, abdominal pain, back pain, flatulence, gastrointestinal bleeding, arthralgia, and rhinitis.
In addition to the adverse events listed above, the following events have been reported in clinical studies, literature reports, and postmarketing use of products which contain (or have been metabolized to) mesalamine. Because many of these events were reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to their seriousness or potential causal connection to mesalamine:
Body as a Whole: Neck pain, facial edema, edema, lupus-like syndrome, drug fever (rare).
Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, pancreatitis, gastritis, increased appetite, cholecystitis, dry mouth, oral ulcers, perforated peptic ulcer (rare), bloody diarrhea. There have been rare reports of hepatotoxicity including, jaundice, cholestatic jaundice, hepatitis, and possible hepatocellular damage including liver necrosis and liver failure. Some of these cases were fatal. Asymptomatic elevations of liver enzymes which usually resolve during continued use or with discontinuation of the drug have also been reported. One case of Kawasaki-like syndrome which included changes in liver enzymes was also reported.
Respiratory/Pulmonary: Eosinophilic pneumonia, interstitial pneumonitis, asthma exacerbation, pleuritis.
Laboratory Abnormalities: Elevated AST (SGOT) or ALT (SGPT), elevated alkaline phosphatase, elevated GGT, elevated LDH, elevated bilirubin, elevated serum creatinine and BUN.
Drug Abuse And Dependency
Drug dependence has not been reported with chronic administration of mesalamine.
Read the Asacol (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
There are no known drug interactions.
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/17/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Asacol Information
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.
Find out what women really need.