Sulphasalazine (Salazopyrine) - Azulfidine in USA
The sulphapyridine ensures the active ingredient of the drug (5-ASA) reaches the colon without being broken down in the small intestine.
What is it used for?
How do I take them?
• Tablet (oval shaped and yellow or brown coloured) These are to be swallowed whole with plenty of water, and are available coated or uncoated.
• Suspension Orange-lemon flavoured liquid.
• Enema The enemas are used to act directly on the inflammation in left-sided colitis.. Taken last thing at night and to be retained for 1 hour.
• Suppository These act directly on recto-sigmoid inflammation Taken morning and night following a bowel movement.
The above medications will be prescribed according to the site and severity of the inflammation and may be used in combination.
Once symptoms have been controlled, you will be given a lower maintenance dose. Although you might feel better, you must continue taking the medication as instructed to prevent the symptoms from coming back.
Are there any precautions?
Are there any side effects?
Most patients experiencing gastric problems with uncoated Salazopyrin improve when switched to the enteric coated version. Other reactions are due to hypersensitivity patients should contact their doctor immediately, e.g. vomiting, stomach pain, skin rashes.
(Unpleasant side effects tend to be associated with the sulphapyridine portion of the drug).
Other reported side effects include:
Use in pregnancy
A small amount does pass into breastmilk, but should not cause any harm to the baby.
NB: If you have any unexplained bleeding, bruising, sore throat, fever
or generally feel unwell whilst taking the treatment, you should see
your doctor for a blood test and further advice who may stop the treatment.