Pentasa (Mesalamine)

(℞) Prescription Required

    Pentasa (Mesalamine) Dosage and Side Effects

    PENTASA is an anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of and/or to help maintain remission and prevention of relapse in patients with Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease.

    Proper Use of this medication

    Always take PENTASA as directed by your doctor. Management of mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis and maintenance therapy in adults: 0.5 g four times daily (2 g daily dose). In some cases, your doctor may increase the dose up to 1 g four times daily (4 g daily dose) if required.

    Management of mild to moderate Crohn's disease in adults: 1 g four times daily (4 g daily dose). For patients with Crohn's Disease in remission, the usual dose is 3 g daily in divided doses.

    PENTASA extended-release tablets should not be chewed, broken or crushed but should be swallowed whole with plenty of water.

    PENTASA extended-release tablets should be taken with meals.


    In case of drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.

    Missed dose:

    If you forget to take your tablets, then take them as usual the next day. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten tablet.

    Side Effects

    Like all medicines, PENTASA can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. The most common side effects are abdominal pain, vomiting, rash, fatigue, fever, back pain, dizziness, headache, itching skin (pruritus), diarrhea and feeling sick (nausea).

    Other less common side effects (seen in less than 1 in 100 patients) are dizziness, feeling sleepy or tired, trembling or shaking, ear or throat pain, racing heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, painful or bloated stomach, hair loss, indigestion, acne, rash, joint aches or pains, back pain, weakness, swollen face, an inflamed pancreas or colon (associated with pain in upper abdomen and back and feeling sick). Rarely, decreased sperm count and motility which may be reversible when treatment is stopped.

    The following side effects are associated with other medicines containing mesalazine (5-ASA). These are: low blood cell counts; neuropathy (abnormal or damaged nerves giving a sensation of numbness and tingling), inflammation of the heart and lining around the heart; inflammation of the lung, difficulty in breathing; gall stones, hepatitis (inflammation of the liver giving rise to flu-like symptoms and jaundice), allergic swelling of tongue, lips and around eyes, skin redness, muscular pain, kidney problems (such as inflammation and scarring of the kidney).

    Warnings and Precautions

    BEFORE you use PENTASA, talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:

    • You have pyloric stenosis (a narrowing of the outlet from the stomach that causes contents of the stomach to remain there for a longer period of time)
    • You have any kidney or liver problems
    • You have digestive (peptic) ulcers
    • You have had previously inflammation of the heart (which may be the result of an infection of the heart)
    • If you have chronic lung problems (e.g. asthma, bronchitis etc…)
    • You think you might be pregnant or are breast-feeding, since mesalamine crosses the placenta in pregnancy and is excreted in breast milk in small quantities. You should ask your doctor for advice about taking PENTASA in these circumstances.
    • You have had previous allergy (hypersensitivity reaction) to sulfasalazine (an ingredient in other medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis)
    • You have had any allergies to this drug or its ingredients or parts of the container

    Interactions with this medication

    The simultaneous use of 5-ASA with drugs known to affect the kidney, including some anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and azathioprine, may increase the risk of renal (kidney) reactions.

    In patients receiving azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine, simultaneous use of 5-ASA can increase the possibility of having abnormal blood cells.

    Tell your doctor if you are taking anticoagulants (e.g. coumarin), probenecid, sulfinpyrazone, spironolactone, furosemide, rifampicin and methotrexate.

    Other related products

    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.