Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 3/20/2023

Drug Summary

What Is Apriso?

Apriso (mesalamine extended-release capsules) is an aminosalicylate anti-inflammatory drug used to treat ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and proctosigmoiditis. Apriso is also used to prevent the symptoms of ulcerative colitis from recurring.

What Are Side Effects of Apriso?

Apriso may cause serious side effects including:

  • hives,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat,
  • severe stomach pain,
  • stomach cramping,
  • bloody diarrhea,
  • fever,
  • headache,
  • skin rash,
  • bloody or tarry stools,
  • coughing up blood,
  • vomit that looks like coffee grounds,
  • little or no urination,
  • painful or difficulty urination,
  • swelling in your feet or ankles,
  • feeling tired,
  • shortness of breath,
  • loss of appetite,
  • upper stomach pain,
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • dark urine,
  • clay-colored stools, and
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

Common side effects of Apriso include:

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Apriso including:

  • changes in the amount of urine,
  • dark urine,
  • persistent nausea or vomiting,
  • severe stomach or abdominal pain or cramping,
  • yellowing eyes or skin (jaundice),
  • chest pain,
  • shortness of breath, or
  • bloody diarrhea.

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, or passing out;
  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors.

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Dosage for Apriso

The recommended dose for maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis in adult patients is 1.5 g (four Apriso capsules) orally once daily in the morning.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Apriso?

Apriso may interact with azathioprine, mercaptopurine, pentamidine, tacrolimus, amphotericin B, antibiotics, antiviral medicines, cancer medicines, aspirin or other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Apriso During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, Apriso should be used only when prescribed. This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Apriso (mesalamine extended-release capsules) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

Drug Description


Each APRISO capsule is a delayed- and extended-release dosage form for oral administration. Each capsule contains 0.375 g of mesalamine USP (5-aminosalicylic acid, 5-ASA), an anti-inflammatory drug. The structural formula of mesalamine is:

APRISO® (mesalamine) extended-release capsules Structural Formula Illustration

Molecular Weight: 153.14

Molecular Formula: C7H7NO3

Each APRISO capsule contains granules composed of mesalamine in a polymer matrix with an enteric coating that dissolves at pH 6 and above.

The inactive ingredients of APRISO capsules are colloidal silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, simethicone emulsion ethyl acrylate/methyl methacrylate copolymer nonoxynol 100 dispersion, hypromellose, methacrylic acid copolymer, talc, titanium dioxide, triethyl citrate, aspartame, anhydrous citric acid, povidone, vanilla flavor, and edible black ink.

Indications & Dosage


APRISO® is indicated for the maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis in adults.



The recommended dosage in adults is 1.5 g (four 0.375 g capsules) orally once daily in the morning.

Administration Instructions

  • Evaluate renal function before initiating therapy with APRISO [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • Swallow APRISO capsules whole. Do not cut, break, crush or chew the capsules.
  • Avoid co-administration of APRISO with antacids [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
  • Drink an adequate amount of fluids [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • Take APRISO without regard to meals [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].


Dosage Forms And Strengths

Extended-release capsules: 0.375 g mesalamine in a light blue opaque gelatin capsule with the letters “G” and “M” imprinted on either side of a black band.

Storage And Handling

APRISO® extended-release capsules are available as light blue opaque hard gelatin capsules containing 0.375 g mesalamine in a light blue opaque gelatin capsule with the letters “G” and “M” imprinted on either side of a black band and are available in bottles of 120 capsules (NDC 65649-103-02).


Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F); excursions permitted between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

Distributed by: Salix Pharmaceuticals, a division of Bausch Health US, LLC Bridgewater, NJ 08807 USA. Revised: Nov 2022

Side Effects


The following clinically significant adverse reactions are described elsewhere in labeling:

  • Renal Impairment [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Mesalamine-Induced Acute Intolerance Syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hepatic Failure [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Photosensitivity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Nephrolithiasis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Risks in Patients with Phenylketonuria [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The data described below reflect exposure to APRISO in 557 patients, including 354 exposed for at least 6 months and 250 exposed for greater than one year. APRISO was studied in two placebo-controlled trials (n=367 treated with APRISO) and in one open-label, long-term study (n=190 additional patients). The population consisted of patients with ulcerative colitis; the mean age was 47 years, 54% were female, and 93% were white. Patients received doses of APRISO 1.5 g administered orally once per day for six months in the placebo-controlled trials and for up to 24 months in the open-label study.

In the two placebo-controlled trials, the most common reactions reported in at least 3% of APRISO-treated patients and at a greater rate than placebo are shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Common Adverse Reactions* in Clinical Trials of Adults with Ulcerative Colitis

APRISO 1.5 g once daily
Headache 11% 8%
Diarrhea 8% 7%
Upper Abdominal Pain 5% 3%
Nausea 4% 3%
Nasopharyngitis 4% 3%
* Reported in at least 3% of APRISO-treated patients and at a greater rate than with placebo

The following adverse reactions, presented by body system, were reported at a frequency less than 3% in patients treated with APRISO for up to 24 months in controlled and open-label trials.

Ear and Labyrinth Disorders: tinnitus, vertigo

Dermatological Disorder: alopecia

Gastrointestinal: lower abdominal pain, rectal haemorrhage

Laboratory Abnormalities: increased triglycerides, decreased hematocrit and haemoglobin

General Disorders and Administration Site Disorders: fatigue

Hepatic: hepatitis cholestatic, transaminases increased

Renal Disorders: creatinine clearance decreased, hematuria

Musculoskeletal: pain, arthralgia

Respiratory: dyspnea

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of APRISO or other mesalamine­containing products. Because many of these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body as a Whole: lupus-like syndrome, drug fever

Cardiovascular: pericarditis, pericardial effusion, myocarditis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Gastrointestinal: pancreatitis, cholecystitis, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal bleeding, perforated peptic ulcer

Hepatic: jaundice, cholestatic jaundice, hepatitis, liver necrosis, liver failure, Kawasaki-like syndrome including changes  in liver enzymes

Hematologic: agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia

Nervous System: intracranial hypertension

Neurological/Psychiatric: peripheral neuropathy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, transverse myelitis

Renal and Urinary: nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, interstitial nephritis, renal failure, minimal change disease,

nephrolithiasis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Respiratory/Pulmonary: eosinophilic pneumonia, interstitial pneumonitis, pleurisy/pleuritic

Skin: psoriasis, pyoderma gangrenosum, erythema nodosum, SJS/TEN, DRESS, and AGEP [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Renal/Urogenital: reversible oligospermia

Drug Interactions



Because the dissolution of the coating of the granules in APRISO capsules depends on pH, avoid co-administration of APRISO capsules with antacids [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Nephrotoxic Agents, Including Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

The concurrent use of mesalamine with known nephrotoxic agents, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may increase the risk of nephrotoxicity. Monitor patients taking nephrotoxic drugs for changes in renal function and mesalamine-related adverse reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Azathioprine Or 6-Mercaptopurine

The concurrent use of mesalamine with azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine and/or other drugs known to cause myelotoxicity may increase the risk for blood disorders, bone marrow failure, and associated complications. If concomitant use of APRISO and azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine cannot be avoided, monitor blood tests, including complete blood cell counts and platelet counts.

Interference With Urinary Normetanephrine Measurements

Use of APRISO may lead to spuriously elevated test results when measuring urinary normetanephrine by liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Consider an alternative, selective assay for normetanephrine.

Warnings & Precautions


Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Renal Impairment

Renal impairment, including minimal change disease, acute and chronic interstitial nephritis, and renal failure, has been reported in patients given products such as APRISO that contain mesalamine or are converted to mesalamine. In animal studies, the kidney was the principal organ of mesalamine toxicity [see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Nonclinical Toxicology].

Evaluate renal function prior to initiation of APRISO therapy and periodically while on therapy. Evaluate the risks and benefits of using APRISO in patients with known renal impairment or a history of renal disease or taking concomitant nephrotoxic drugs. Discontinue APRISO if renal function deteriorates while on therapy [see DRUG INTERACTIONS, Use In Specific Populations].

Mesalamine-Induced Acute Intolerance Syndrome

Mesalamine has been associated with an acute intolerance syndrome that may be difficult to distinguish from an exacerbation of ulcerative colitis. Although the exact frequency of occurrence has not been determined, it has occurred in 3% of patients in controlled clinical trials of mesalamine or sulfasalazine. Symptoms include cramping, acute abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, sometimes fever, headache, and rash. Monitor patients for worsening of these symptoms while on treatment. If acute intolerance syndrome is suspected, promptly discontinue treatment with APRISO.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Some patients have experienced a hypersensitivity reaction to sulfasalazine. Some patients may have a similar reaction to APRISO or to other compounds that contain or are converted to mesalamine.

As with sulfasalazine, mesalamine-induced hypersensitivity reactions may present as internal organ involvement, including myocarditis, pericarditis, nephritis, hepatitis, pneumonitis and hematologic abnormalities. Evaluate patients immediately if signs or symptoms of a hypersensitivity reaction are present. Discontinue APRISO if an alternative etiology for the signs and symptoms cannot be established.

Hepatic Failure

There have been reports of hepatic failure in patients with pre-existing liver disease who have been administered mesalamine. Evaluate the risks and benefits of using APRISO in patients with known liver impairment.

Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions

Severe cutaneous adverse reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP) have been reported with the use of mesalamine [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Discontinue APRISO at the first signs or symptoms of severe cutaneous adverse reactions or other signs of hypersensitivity and consider further evaluation.


Patients with pre-existing skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and atopic eczema have reported more severe photosensitivity reactions. Advise patients to avoid sun exposure, wear protective clothing, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen when outdoors.


Cases of nephrolithiasis have been reported with the use of mesalamine, including stones with 100% mesalamine content.

Mesalamine-containing stones are radiotransparent and undetectable by standard radiography or computed tomography (CT). Ensure adequate fluid intake during treatment with APRISO.

Risks In Patients With Phenylketonuria

Phenylalanine can be harmful to patients with phenylketonuria (PKU). APRISO contains phenylalanine, a component of aspartame. Each APRISO 0.375 g capsule contains 0.56 mg of phenylalanine. Before prescribing APRISO to a patient with PKU, consider the combined daily amount of phenylalanine from all sources, including APRISO.

Interference With Laboratory Tests

Use of APRISO may lead to spuriously elevated test results when measuring urinary normetanephrine by liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection because of the similarity in the chromatograms of normetanephrine and the main metabolite of mesalamine, N-acetyl-5-aminosalicylic acid (N-Ac-5-ASA). Consider an alternative, selective assay for normetanephrine.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Dietary mesalamine was not carcinogenic in rats at doses as high as 480 mg/kg/day, or in mice at 2,000 mg/kg/day. These doses are about 2.6 and 5.4 times the recommended human dose of granulated mesalamine capsules of 1.5 g/day (30 mg/kg if 50 kg body weight assumed or 1,110 mg/m²), respectively, based on body surface area.

Mesalamine was negative in the Ames test, the mouse lymphoma cell (L5178Y/TK+/-) forward mutation test, the sister chromatid exchange assay in the Chinese hamster bone marrow test, and the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test.

No effects on fertility or reproductive performance in male and female rats were observed with oral mesalamine doses up to 320 mg/kg (about 1.7 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area).

Use In Specific Populations


Risk Summary

Published data from meta-analyses, cohort studies and case series on the use of mesalamine during pregnancy have not reliably informed an association with mesalamine and major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes (see Data).

In animal reproduction studies, there were no adverse developmental outcomes with administration of oral mesalamine during organogenesis to pregnant rats and rabbits at doses 1.7 and 5.4 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (see Data).

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated populations is unknown. Adverse outcomes in pregnancy occur regardless of the health of the mother or the use of medications. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Disease-Associated Maternal And Embryo/Fetal Risk

Published data suggest that increased disease activity is associated with the risk of developing adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with ulcerative colitis. Adverse pregnancy outcomes include preterm delivery (before 37 weeks of gestation), low birth weight (less than 2500 g) infants, and small for gestational age at birth.


Human Data

Published data from meta-analyses, cohort studies and case series on the use of mesalamine during early pregnancy (first trimester) and throughout pregnancy have not reliably informed an association of mesalamine and major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. There is no clear evidence that mesalamine exposure in early pregnancy is associated with an increased risk in major congenital malformations, including cardiac malformations. Published epidemiologic studies have important methodological limitations which hinder interpretation of the data, including inability to control for confounders, such as underlying maternal disease, and maternal use of concomitant medications, and missing information on the dose and duration of use for mesalamine products.

Animal Data

Reproduction studies with mesalamine during organogenesis have been performed in rats at oral doses up to 320 mg/kg/day (about 1.7 times the recommended human dose based on a body surface area comparison) and rabbits at doses up to 495 mg/kg/day (about 5.4 times the recommended human dose based on a body surface area comparison) and have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus due to mesalamine.


Risk Summary

Data from published literature report the presence of mesalamine and its metabolite, N-acetyl 5-aminosalicylic acid in human milk in small amounts with relative infant doses (RID) of 2% or less (see Data). There are case reports of diarrhea in breastfed infants exposed to mesalamine (see Clinical Considerations). There is no information on the effects of the drug on milk production. The lack of clinical data during lactation precludes a clear determination of the risk of APRISO to an infant during lactation; therefore, the developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for APRISO and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from APRISO or from the underlying maternal condition.

Clinical Considerations

Advise the caregiver to monitor the breastfed infant for diarrhea.


In published lactation studies, maternal mesalamine doses from various oral and rectal formulations and products ranged from 500 mg to 4.8 g daily. The average concentration of mesalamine in milk ranged from non-detectable to 0.5 mg/L. The average concentration of the N-acetyl-5-aminosalicylic acid in milk ranged from 0.2 to 9.3 mg/L. Based on these concentrations, estimated infant daily dosages for an exclusively breastfed infant are 0 to 0.075 mg/kg/day (RID 0 to 0.1%) of mesalamine and 0.03 to 1.4 mg/kg/day of N-acetyl-5-aminosalicylic acid.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of APRISO in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of APRISO did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and older to determine whether they respond differently than younger subjects. Reports from uncontrolled clinical studies and postmarketing reporting systems suggested a higher incidence of blood dyscrasias (i.e., agranulocytosis, neutropenia and pancytopenia) in patients who were 65 years or older compared to younger patients taking mesalamine-containing products such as APRISO. Monitor complete blood cell counts and platelet counts in elderly patients during treatment with APRISO. In general, consider the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy in elderly patients when prescribing APRISO [see Use In Specific Populations].

Renal Impairment

Mesalamine is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Evaluate renal function in all patients prior to initiation and periodically while on APRISO therapy. Monitor patients with known renal impairment or history of renal disease or taking nephrotoxic drugs for decreased renal function and mesalamine-related adverse reactions. Discontinue APRISO if renal function deteriorates while on therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS , DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Overdose & Contraindications


APRISO is an aminosalicylate, and symptoms of salicylate toxicity include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, tachypnea, hyperpnea, tinnitus, and neurologic symptoms (headache, dizziness, confusion, seizures). Severe salicylate intoxication may lead to electrolyte and blood pH imbalance and potentially to other organ (e.g., renal and liver) damage. There is no specific antidote for mesalamine overdose; however, conventional therapy for salicylate toxicity may be beneficial in the event of acute overdosage and may include gastrointestinal tract decontamination to prevent further absorption. Correct fluid and electrolyte imbalance by the administration of appropriate intravenous therapy and maintain adequate renal function. APRISO is a pH-dependent delayed-release product and this factor should be considered when treating a suspected overdose.


APRISO is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to salicylates or aminosalicylates or to any of the components of APRISO capsules [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, DESCRIPTION].

Clinical Pharmacology


Mechanism Of Action

The mechanism of action of mesalamine (5-ASA) is not fully understood, but appears to be a local anti-inflammatory effect on colonic epithelial cells. Mucosal production of arachidonic acid metabolites, both through the cyclooxygenase pathways, i.e., prostanoids, and through the lipoxygenase pathways, i.e., leukotrienes and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids, is increased in patients with ulcerative colitis, and it is possible that 5-ASA diminishes inflammation by blocking production of arachidonic acid metabolites.



The pharmacokinetics of 5-ASA and its metabolite, N-acetyl-5-aminosalicylic acid (N-Ac-5-ASA), were studied after a single and multiple oral doses of 1.5 g APRISO in a crossover study in healthy subjects under fasting conditions. In the multiple-dose period, each subject received APRISO 1.5 g (four 0.375 g capsules) once daily for 7 consecutive days. Steady state was reached on Day 6 of once daily dosing based on trough concentrations.

After single and multiple doses of APRISO, peak plasma concentrations were observed at about 4 hours post-dose. At steady state, moderate increases (1.5-fold and 1.7-fold) in systemic exposure (AUC0-24) to 5-ASA and N-Ac-5-ASA were observed when compared with a single-dose of APRISO.

Pharmacokinetic parameters after a single dose of 1.5 g APRISO and at steady state in healthy subjects under fasting condition are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Single Dose and Multiple Dose Mean (±SD) Plasma Pharmacokinetic Parameters ofMesalamine (5-ASA) and N-Ac-5-ASA After 1.5 g APRISO Administration in Healthy Subjects

Mesalamine (5-ASA) Single Dose
Multiple Dosec
AUC0-24 (mcg*h/mL) 11±5 17±6
AUC0-inf (mcg*h/mL) 14±5 -
Cmax (mcg/mL) 2.1±1.1 2.7±1.1
Tmax (h) a 4 (2, 16) 4 (2, 8)
t½ (h)b 9±7 10±8
AUC0-24 (mcg*h/mL) 26±6 37±9
AUC0-inf (mcg*h/mL) 51±23 -
Cmax (mcg/mL) 2.8±0.8 3.4±0.9
Tmax (h) a 4 (4, 12) 5 (2, 8)
t½ (h)b 12±11 14±10
a Median (range);
b Harmonic mean (pseudo SD);
c after 7 days of treatment

In a separate study (n=30), it was observed that under fasting conditions about 32%±11% (mean±SD) of the administered dose was systemically absorbed based on the combined cumulative urinary excretion of 5-ASA and N-Ac-5-ASA over 96 hours post-dose.

Food Effects

The effect of a high fat meal intake on absorption of mesalamine granules (the same granules contained in APRISO capsules) was evaluated in 30 healthy subjects. Subjects received 1.6 g of mesalamine granules in sachet (2 x 0.8 g) following an overnight fast or a high fat meal in a crossover study. Under fed conditions, Tmax for both 5-ASA and N-Ac-5-ASA was prolonged by 4 and 2 hours, respectively. A high fat meal did not affect Cmax for 5-ASA, but a 27% increase in the cumulative urinary excretion of 5-ASA was observed with a high fat meal. The overall extent of absorption of N-Ac-5-ASA was not affected by a high fat meal [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].


In an in vitro study, at 2.5 mcg/mL, mesalamine and N-Ac-5-ASA are 43±6% and 78±1% bound, respectively, to plasma proteins. Protein binding of N-Ac-5-ASA does not appear to be concentration dependent at concentrations ranging from 1 to 10 mcg/mL.



The major metabolite of mesalamine is N-acetyl-5-aminosalicylic acid (N-Ac-5-ASA). It is formed by N-acetyltransferase activity in the liver and intestinal mucosa.


Following single and multiple doses of APRISO, the mean half-lives were 9 to 10 hours for 5-ASA, and 12 to 14 hours for N-Ac-5-ASA. Of the approximately 32% of the dose absorbed, about 2% of the dose was excreted unchanged in the urine, compared with about 30% of the dose excreted as N-Ac-5-ASA.

Drug Interaction Studies

In an in vitro study using human liver microsomes, 5-ASA and its metabolite, N-Ac-5-ASA, were shown not to inhibit the major CYP enzymes evaluated (CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, and CYP3A4). Therefore, mesalamine and its metabolite are not expected to inhibit the metabolism of other drugs that are substrates of CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, or CYP3A4.

Animal Toxicology And/Or Pharmacology

Renal Toxicity

Animal studies with mesalamine (13-week and 26-week oral toxicity studies in rats, and 26-week and 52-week oral toxicity studies in dogs) have shown the kidney to be the major target organ of mesalamine toxicity. Single oral doses of 800 mg/kg (about 2.2 times the recommended human dose, on the basis of body surface area) and 1,800 mg/kg (about 9.7 times the recommended human dose, on the basis of body surface area) of mesalamine were lethal to mice and rats, respectively, and resulted in gastrointestinal and renal toxicity. Oral doses of 40 mg/kg/day (about 0.20 times the human dose, on the basis of body surface area) produced minimal to slight tubular injury, and doses of 160 mg/kg/day (about 0.90 times the human dose, on the basis of body surface area) or higher in rats produced renal lesions including tubular degeneration, tubular mineralization, and papillary necrosis. Oral doses of 60 mg/kg/day (about 1.1 times the human dose, on the basis of body surface area) or higher in dogs also produced renal lesions including tubular atrophy, interstitial cell infiltration, chronic nephritis, and papillary necrosis.

Clinical Studies

Two similar, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center studies were conducted in a total of 562 adult patients in remission from ulcerative colitis. The study populations had a mean age of 46 years (11% age 65 years or older), were 53% female, and were primarily white (92%).

Ulcerative colitis disease activity was assessed using a modified Sutherland Disease Activity Index (DAI), which is a sum of four subscores based on stool frequency, rectal bleeding, mucosal appearance on endoscopy, and physician’s rating of disease activity. Each subscore can range from 0 to 3, for a total possible DAI score of 12.

At baseline, approximately 80% of patients had a total DAI score of 0 or 1.0. Patients were randomized 2:1 to receive either APRISO 1.5 g or placebo once daily in the morning for six months. Patients were assessed at baseline, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months in the clinic, with endoscopy performed at baseline, at end of study, or if clinical symptoms developed. Relapse was defined as a rectal bleeding subscale score of 1 or more and a mucosal appearance subscale score of 2 or more using the DAI. The analysis of the intent-to-treat population was a comparison of the proportions of patients who remained relapse-free at the end of six months of treatment. For the table below (Table 3) all patients who prematurely withdrew from the study for any reason were counted as relapses.

In both studies, the proportion of patients who remained relapse-free at six months was greater for APRISO than for placebo.

Table 3: Percentage of Ulcerative Colitis Patients Relapse-Free* Through 6 Months in APRISO Maintenance Studies

APRISO 1.5 g once daily % (# no relapse/N) Placebo % (# no relapse/N) Difference (95% C.I.) P-value
Study 1 68% (143/209) 51% (49/96) 17% (5.5, 29.2) <0.001
Study 2 71% (117/164) 59% (55/93) 12% (0, 24.5) 0.046
*Relapse counted as rectal bleeding score ≥1 and mucosal appearance score ≥2, or premature withdrawal from study.

Examination of gender subgroups did not identify difference in response to APRISO among these subgroups. There were too few elderly and too few African-American patients to adequately assess difference in effects in those populations.

The use of APRISO for treating ulcerative colitis beyond six months has not been evaluated in controlled clinical trials.

Medication Guide


Administration Instruct patients:

  • Swallow the capsules whole. Do not cut, break, crush or chew the capsules.
  • Avoid co-administration of APRISO with antacids.
  • Drink an adequate amount of fluids.
  • APRISO capsules can be taken without regard to meals [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Renal Impairment

Inform patients that APRISO may decrease their renal function, especially if they have known renal impairment or are taking nephrotoxic drugs, including NSAIDs, and periodic monitoring of renal function will be performed while they are on therapy. Advise patients to complete all blood tests ordered by their healthcare provider [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Mesalamine-Induced Acute Intolerance Syndrome And Other Hypersensitivity Reactions

Inform patients of the signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions. Instruct patients to stop taking APRISO and report to their healthcare provider if they experience new or worsening symptoms of Acute Intolerance Syndrome (cramping, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, fever, headache, and rash) or other symptoms suggestive of mesalamine­induced hypersensitivity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Hepatic Failure

Inform patients with known liver disease of the signs and symptoms of worsening liver function and advise them to report to their healthcare provider if they experience such signs or symptoms [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions

Inform patients of the signs and symptoms of severe cutaneous adverse reactions. Instruct patients to stop taking APRISO and report to their healthcare provider at first appearance of a severe cutaneous adverse reaction or other sign of hypersensitivity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].


Advise patients with pre-existing skin conditions to avoid sun exposure, wear protective clothing, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen when outdoors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].


Instruct patients to drink an adequate amount of fluids during treatment in order to minimize the risk of kidney stone formation and to contact their healthcare provider if they experience signs or symptoms of a kidney stone (e.g., severe side or back pain, blood in the urine) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Patients With Phenylketonuria

Inform patients with phenylketonuria (PKU) or their caregivers that each APRISO capsule contains aspartame equivalent to 0.56 mg of phenylalanine, so that the recommended adult dosing provides an equivalent of 2.24 mg of phenylalanine per day [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Blood Disorders

Inform elderly patients and those taking azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine of the risk for blood disorders and the need for periodic monitoring of complete blood cell counts and platelet counts while on therapy. Advise patients to complete all blood tests ordered by their healthcare provider [see DRUG INTERACTIONS, Use In Specific Populations].

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