An achy stomach. The constant need to head to the bathroom. Guilt about having to cancel events. All of these can come with having ulcerative colitis, and medications like mesalamine can help.
You're probably wondering, does mesalamine cost a lot? If you're on a budget, you can still afford the medication you need.
Keep reading to learn about the cost of mesalamine.
What Is Mesalamine?
Mesalamine is one of many drugs that can treat ulcerative colitis and other diseases of the bowels. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that can cause sores (ulcers) to develop in your large intestine.
Mesalamine is one of many drugs that can help treat ulcerative colitis. You may use it alone or with other drugs, depending on what your doctor recommends.
The drug comes in many forms, including tablets and capsules. It's safe for almost anyone over the age of five to take.
Whether you have ulcerative colitis with or without other conditions, mesalamine can be a good treatment option. And you have multiple ways to get it.
Mesalamine is the generic name for the medication, and there are a few brand names selling it. The most common brand name in the United States is Apriso.
In Canada, you can get generic mesalamine, or you can choose from a few brand names.
- Asacol 800
- Asacol HD
All of these brands can work like the generic. They can help treat mild or moderate ulcerative colitis, and they can reduce various disease symptoms, like inflammation.
No matter which your doctor prescribes, you can get the relief you need. And if the cost is a concern, you can ask for the most affordable option your doctor can provide.
How Does It Treat Ulcerative Colitis?
The way mesalamine works depends on the formula you get. Mesalamine comes in tablet and capsule form, and you can get it with a delayed-release or an extended-release formula.
Delayed-release tablets and capsules have a coating that keeps the medication from inactivating before it reaches the stomach. That way, the drug can be more effective at treating ulcerative colitis.
Extended-release capsules release the medication for an extended period after you take them. While the two formulations can treat ulcerative colitis, they aren't the same.
Your doctor should be able to recommend the best formulation for you and your needs.
How Much Does Mesalamine Cost?
The brand, formulation, and medication amount can all affect how much mesalamine costs. Just because the medication label is similar, doesn't mean the cost is.
On average, mesalamine costs $395 for 120 0.375 gram (g) capsules. The brand Apriso has the same dosing, and 120 capsules cost roughly $550.
Meanwhile, 180 delayed-release 400 milligram (mg) capsules cost about $540. Delzicol is the brand equivalent to this dosing, and it costs about $740 for the same supply.
If you prefer the tablet, you can get 120 1.2 g tablets for around $495. The brand Lialda comes with the same formulation, and you would need to pay about $1,200 for the same amount of mesalamine treatment.
A supply of 180 800 mg delayed-release tablets costs around $1,200. Asacol HD is the brand name for this formula, and you can expect to pay about $1,780 for this amount of medication.
Factors That Affect Mesalamine Cost
Like a lot of drugs, mesalamine can be expensive, depending on where you get it. However, you can save a lot of money on your medication if you know where to look.
Before you send your prescription to your local pharmacy, consider if you can get a better deal. That way, you won't have to pay as much for your medication.
Generic vs. Brand
One of the biggest factors that can change your mesalamine price is if you get the generic version or one of the available brands.
While Apriso capsules are relatively affordable, you can save almost $600 on Asacol HD if you get generic mesalamine. The generic can also save you over have the cost of the brand Lialda for the same medication.
If you've taken one of the mesalamine brands, switching to the generic medication is probably the easiest thing you can do. Generic drugs go through the same approval process as brands, so you can know it will be effective.
The amount of competition in the market can also affect the cost of mesalamine. If there was only one brand name selling it, the price would probably be much higher.
However, there are four different brands making various formulations of mesalamine. And that doesn't include any of the manufacturers who aren't working under a brand name.
If you can shop around for different mesalamine manufacturers, you can ensure you get a good deal. Then, you can go back to that maker when you need a refill.
Overall, mesalamine capsules cost less than the tablets. The prices are lower for both generic and brand names, so a capsule may be a good option if you want to save money.
But you may also want to consider if extended-release or delayed-release is better. The extended-release capsules cost less than the delayed-release. However, you get more tablets in a supply.
Delayed-release capsules have a lower per-unit price. But the delayed-release tablets cost quite a bit more than either type of capsule.
You can also take mesalamine as a rectal suppository or enema. These forms can work as well as the oral forms, but you won't have to take the medication through your mouth.
You should also consider how much mesalamine your doctor prescribes you to take each day. Now, you can't always control your dosage, but you can save money.
If you can buy a bigger supply, you may pay less over time. Of course, you can also save money with a generic version and other factors.
But if your symptoms are mild, you may want to consider starting with a lower dose. You can increase it if necessary, but if not, you can keep your medication costs low.
If you've gone to the same pharmacy for years, it can be tempting to take your new mesalamine prescription there. You probably know and trust the pharmacists.
However, some pharmacies can charge a lot more than others. Your pharmacy will have operating costs, and they may not always have enough mesalamine in stock.
Before you submit your prescription, do some price comparison. You can look at local pharmacies and pharmacy chains.
If you still think the cost is high, you can also consider ordering your prescription from abroad. Some international pharmacies can charge less than the one down the street from you.
An international pharmacy can be just as trustworthy. You can get your mesalamine and any other medications you need all in one place.
Of course, you also have to consider your health insurance plan. You should think about your deductible and prescription co-pay amounts.
Depending on your insurance plan, you may need to pay for the entire medication yourself without help from insurance. Even if you have a co-pay, it may be higher than you like.
You can shop around for the best cost, but you may still need to pay a lot. If you don't have much money for your medical expenses, your insurance may not be enough.
You could switch to a new insurance plan. But you'll still need to pay your monthly premium in addition to your medication.
Some pharmacies know that drugs can cost a lot. So they may offer coupons or discounts on certain medications.
You can find a few mesalamine coupon programs where you can save money. Those programs won't eliminate your drug cost, but they can help.
Consider if you can get a good coupon for a pharmacy near you or abroad. You never know how much you can save unless you try.
You may also want to look into getting a three-month supply instead of a one-month supply. Not only can you save money on shipping, but you can lower your per-unit cost.
Ordering your medications in bulk will cost more when you order. However, bigger supplies usually have lower costs per pill.
The savings apply whether you get generic mesalamine or one of the different brand names. You don't need to stock up for months, after all, that could cause your medication to expire before you get to it.
Still, you can safely order your medication for a few months at a time. Then, you can save time and money on the cost of mesalamine.
What to Consider Before Starting Mesalamine
As with any new medication, you should consider a few things first. You can talk about your concerns with your doctor, including your worry about the cost.
Even if you have plenty of money for the medication, you should still ensure it will be safe for you to take.
Here are a few things to think about before you start mesalamine or switch varieties.
Your Medical History
You should tell your doctor about any other medical conditions you currently have and your other medications and supplements. While mesalamine is relatively safe, you don't want to risk harming yourself.
If you've had surgery recently or are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should also talk to your doctor. While there aren't any reports of negative reactions during these situations, you should still weigh the benefits and risks.
Your doctor can make a final decision on if mesalamine is right for you. Then, you can get the best version for your situation and needs.
Food and Drug Interactions
Depending on the type of mesalamine you take, you may need to take it with or without food. Your doctor can tell you if your version of the medication requires food or not.
You may also experience mesalamine drug interactions. The medication has a long list of potential interactions with other medicines. Some popular meds include:
- Salicylic acid
Taking the live varicella virus vaccine can also interact with your mesalamine. You may also have more mesalamine side effects if you also take tamarind or warfarin, but your doctor may still prescribe those drugs with mesalamine if it's the best option.
Of course, you should also watch for allergies or other side effects. If you experience anything, write down your symptoms and the date and time.
You can tell your doctor about those details. And if the mesalamine is the cause, you can make any adjustments to your treatment plan.
As you start taking the medication, you also need to consider when and how to take it. Make sure you read the prescription label so that you know how many pills to take at a time or per day.
If you need to take the medicine when you're out of the house, you can pack it in a pill case. Then, you won't have to worry about forgetting it.
When it comes to mesalamine that you should take with food, you can ask your doctor what to eat. You may be able to have a small snack, or you might need to have a fuller meal.
Where to Buy It
After you get your mesalamine prescription, you need to choose where to get it. If you're looking to save money, ordering your medicine online is the best option.
You have access to more pharmacies, so you can get the best price. But before you buy online, make sure you choose a safe, trustworthy pharmacy.
That way, you can know you'll get the right medication and dosage. Buying online can be convenient, but it does come with the risk of not getting what you order.
When you get your order, make sure it has a label with your name, the medication name, and the expiration date. If you've taken mesalamine before, you can also verify that the pills look accurate.
Don't take any medication that doesn't look right. It's not worth the risk to you or your health.
What Will Mesalamine Cost You?
For many people, the mesalamine cost can make taking the medication stressful. However, you don't have to go bankrupt to afford this life-changing medication to treat ulcerative colitis.
You can save money by getting the right dosage and supply. Buying from the best pharmacy can also help you get a good deal.
Are you ready to order mesalamine? Upload your prescription now.