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Asacol HD

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/3/2017
Asacol HD Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Apriso, Asacol, Asacol HD, Lialda, Pentasa

Generic Name: mesalamine (oral) (Pronunciation: me SAL a meen)

What is mesalamine oral (Asacol HD)?

Mesalamine affects a substance in the body that causes inflammation, tissue damage, and diarrhea.

Mesalamine is used to treat ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and proctosigmoiditis. Mesalamine is also used to prevent the symptoms of ulcerative colitis from recurring.

Mesalamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of mesalamine oral (Asacol HD)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking mesalamine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe stomach pain, cramping, fever, headache, and bloody diarrhea.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, gas;
  • fever, sore throat, or other flu symptoms;
  • constipation;
  • headache or dizziness;
  • tired feeling; or
  • skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Asacol HD (mesalamine delayed-release tablets, oral) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about mesalamine oral (Asacol HD)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to mesalamine or to aspirin or other salicylates (such as Disalcid, Doan's Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others).

Before you take mesalamine, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, a stomach condition called pyloric stenosis, a heart condition such as congestive heart failure, or a history of allergy to sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).

Do not crush, break, or chew a mesalamine tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially formulated to release the medicine after it has passed through your stomach into your intestines.

Call your doctor if you find undissolved tablets in your stool.

Stop using mesalamine and call your doctor at once if you have severe stomach pain, cramping, fever, headache, and bloody diarrhea.

Asacol HD Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking mesalamine oral (Asacol HD)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to mesalamine or to aspirin or other salicylates (such as Disalcid, Doan's Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others).

To make sure you can safely take mesalamine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a stomach condition called pyloric stenosis;
  • a history of allergy to sulfasalazine (Azulfidine);
  • a heart condition such as congestive heart failure;
  • kidney disease; or
  • liver disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether mesalamine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Mesalamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take mesalamine oral (Asacol HD)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take mesalamine with a full glass of water.

Mesalamine can usually be taken with or without food. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Mesalamine extended-release capsules (Lialda) should be taken with a meal.

Do not crush, break, or chew a mesalamine tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole.

The extended-release capsule is specially formulated to release the medicine after it has passed through your stomach into your intestines. Breaking the pill may cause the drug to be released too early in the digestive tract.

The enteric-coated tablet has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating.

Call your doctor if you find undissolved tablets in your stool.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Asacol HD Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Asacol HD)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Asacol HD)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include ringing in your ears, dizziness, headache, confusion, drowsiness, sweating, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What should I avoid while taking mesalamine oral (Asacol HD)?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What other drugs will affect mesalamine oral (Asacol HD)?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • azathioprine (Imuran) or mercaptopurine (Purinethol);
  • pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam);
  • tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • amphotericin B (Fungizone, AmBisome, Amphotec, Abelcet);
  • antibiotics such as capreomycin (Capastat), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater), vancomycin (Vancocin, Vancoled);
  • antiviral medicines such as acyclovir (Zovirax), adefovir (Hepsera), cidofovir (Vistide), or foscarnet (Foscavir);
  • cancer medicine such as aldesleukin (Proleukin), carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel), cisplatin (Platinol), ifosfamide (Ifex), oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), streptozocin (Zanosar), or tretinoin (Vesanoid); or
  • aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), diclofenac (Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin, nabumetone (Relafen), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), and others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with mesalamine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about mesalamine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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