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About Lialda (Mesalamine)
Lialda is a prescription medication for treating inflammation of the colon—ulcerative colitis. Brand name Lialda is manufactured by Shire Pharmaceuticals and is available in one dose of 1200mg. This is an extended-release tablet and is known as Mezavant XL in Canada and in the United Kingdom.
The active chemical ingredient is called mesalamine and we also provide a generic alternative for this medication.
Lialda (Mesalamine) Medication Information
Lialda is prescribed to treat ulcerative colitis, a disease of the large intestine.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic condition where the bowels become inflamed and ulcers form. The inflammation and ulcers affect the inner lining of the large intestine. Symptoms may include blood in the stool, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Inflammation is a normal immune system process of the body. However, in some people, the immune system is overactive and causes inflammation when it is not needed. This overactive immune reaction is part of what causes UC.
Lialda works by reducing inflammation in the large intestine. The exact mechanism is unknown, but it appears to modify the chemical signals involved in immune system reactions. Lialda reduces inflammation and is used for induction of remission and maintenance of remission.
Lialda is made in 1.2 g tablets.
Your doctor will prescribe different doses based on whether your UC is in remission or not.
To induce remission, the normal dose of Lialda is two to four tablets by mouth once daily with food.
Once remission is achieved, the dosage is two tablets by mouth once daily with food.
Common side effects of Lialda may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Liver function test abnormalities
- Ulcerative colitis
Do not take Lialda if you have an allergy to aspirin or similar medications.
Tell your doctor if you have a history of kidney problems. Mesalamine can worsen kidney function while taking it. Do not take NSAIDs while you are taking Lialda.
Tell your doctor if you have a history of liver problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all medications you are taking before you start Lialda. Common drug interactions with Mesalamine include:
- H2 receptor blockers
- Proton pump inhibitors
- Varicella-containing vaccines
Avoid medications that are used as “antacids” because they will reduce the absorption of Lialda.
Store at room temperature 15 °C to 25 °C (59 °F to 77 °F).
- Take Lialda whole and do not crush or chew it. Lialda has a delayed-release coating that helps it reach the large intestine without being digested.
- Lialda must be taken with food.
- Use skin protection while taking Lialda, including sunscreen and protective clothing. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and ultraviolet light.
How long does it take Mesalamine to work?
For most people, it takes about four weeks for Lialda to start working.
Can I take Lialda while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Lialda is probably safe to take while pregnant, but you should talk to your doctor before taking anything while pregnant. Lialda passes through breast milk to a small extent, but it is unknown if this is harmful to the baby.
Is it safe to take Lialda if I am 65 or older?
Yes, but you may be at a higher risk of blood problems. Your doctor should monitor the levels of your blood cells while you are taking Lialda.
- Lialda [package insert]. Wayne, PA: Shire; 2014.
Author: Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Dr. Sheehy is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. He has worked in multiple practice settings, including retail and hospital pharmacies, and in medical clinics. He specializes in anticoagulation, psychiatric medications, and diabetes medications. He strives to empower his patients to understand their medications and improve their overall medical care.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.