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Exacerbations Of Ulcerative Colitis
Balsalazide is converted to mesalamine, which has been associated with an acute intolerance syndrome that may be difficult to distinguish from an exacerbation of ulcerative colitis. In controlled clinical trials with GIAZO in adults with ulcerative colitis, 7% of male patients reported exacerbation of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Symptoms include cramping, acute abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, sometimes fever, headache, and rash. Observe patients closely for worsening of these symptoms while on treatment. If acute intolerance syndrome is suspected, promptly discontinue treatment with GIAZO.
Renal impairment, including minimal change nephropathy, acute and chronic interstitial nephritis and renal failure, has been reported in patients given products that release mesalamine in the gastrointestinal tract. Evaluate renal function prior to initiation of GIAZO therapy and periodically while on therapy. Exercise caution when using GIAZO in patients with known renal dysfunction or a history of renal disease.
Use in Hepatic Impairment
There have been reports of hepatic failure in patients with pre-existing liver disease who have been administered mesalamine. Because balsalazide is converted to mesalamine, use caution and consider liver function testing when administering GIAZO to patients with liver disease.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
In a 24-month rat (Sprague Dawley) carcinogenicity study, oral (dietary) balsalazide disodium at doses up to 2 g/kg/day was not tumorigenic. For a 50 kg person of average height this dose represents 2.5 times the recommended human dose on a body surface area basis. Balsalazide disodium was not genotoxic in the following in vitro or in vivo tests: Ames test, human lymphocyte chromosomal aberration test, and mouse lymphoma cell (L5178Y/TK+/-) forward mutation test, or mouse micronucleus test. However, it was genotoxic in the in vitro Chinese hamster lung cell (CH V79/ HGPRT) forward mutation test.
The compound 4-aminobenzoyl-s-alanine, a metabolite of balsalazide disodium, was not genotoxic in the Ames test and the mouse lymphoma cell (L5178Y/TK+/-) forward mutation test but was positive in the human lymphocyte chromosomal aberration test. N-acetyl-4-aminobenzoyl-ß-alanine, a conjugated metabolite of balsalazide disodium, was not genotoxic in Ames test, the mouse lymphoma cell (L5178Y/TK+/-) forward mutation test, or the human lymphocyte chromosomal aberration test. Balsalazide disodium at oral doses up to 2 g/kg/day, 2.5 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area, was found to have no effect on fertility and reproductive performance in rats.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category B
Reproduction studies were performed in rats and rabbits at oral doses up to 2 g/kg/day, 2.5 and 4.9 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area for the rat and rabbit, respectively, and revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to balsalazide disodium. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Mesalamine, a metabolite of GIAZO, is known to cross the placental barrier.
It is not known whether balsalazide disodium or its metabolites are excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when GIAZO is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness of GIAZO in pediatric patients have not been established.
Reports from uncontrolled clinical studies and postmarketing reporting systems suggested a higher incidence of blood dyscrasias, i.e., neutropenia and pancytopenia in patients who were 65 years or older who were taking mesalamine-containing products. GIAZO is converted into mesalamine in the colon. Caution should be taken to closely monitor blood cell counts during therapy.
Clinical trials of GIAZO did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently than younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients. In general, the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy in elderly patients should be considered when prescribing GIAZO.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/13/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Giazo Information
- Giazo Drug Interactions Center: balsalazide oral
- Giazo Side Effects Center
- Giazo FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
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.
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