Pentasa (Mesalamine)

(℞) Prescription Required

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    Learn About Pentasa (Mesalamine)

    Mesalamine is an anti-inflammatory medication that is prescribed to patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. It helps to keep the condition in remission or to help prevent a relapse.

    Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract, which can affect areas from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is like Crohn’s in that it is also a chronic inflammatory condition, but it only affects the large intestine.  


    Use the following information, below, to learn about this anti-inflammatory. This includes information about Pentasa generic versions. You will also find information about proper Pentasa dosage, side effects, interactions, and more.

    Proper Use

    Your doctor will prescribe Mesalamine to help in the management of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Depending on what your doctor determines is best for your personal treatment, your dosage may change. The dosage will also change depending on if you are treated for Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. Each condition will require treatment to vary slightly in the dosage and directives were given to you by your doctor.  

    Do not take more than one dose at the same time to make up for a missed dose. If you forget to take your tablets, just continue as regularly scheduled once you remember.   

    If you have taken more tablets than prescribed, contact an emergency health professional for the risk of overdose. Do not crush or break the extended-release tablets. Take your medication with a full glass of water and swallow your pill whole.  

    Side Effects of Pentasa

    There are known side effects associated with taking Pentasa (Mesalamine). Not all patients who take it will experience them. Common side effects include: 

    • Headache 
    • Pruritus 
    • Diarrhea 
    • Nausea 
    • Vomiting 
    • Abdominal Pain 
    • Fever 
    • Back Pain 
    • Rash  
    • Fatigue 
    • Dizziness

    Less common side effects include: 

    • Sleepiness or tiredness 
    • Trembling or shaking 
    • Dizziness 
    • Pain in the throat or ear 
    • Stomach bloating or pain 
    • Racing heartbeat 
    • Acne 
    • Hair loss 
    • Indigestion 
    • Rash 
    • Joint aches or pains 
    • Swollen face 
    • Inflamed pancreas or colon 
    • Weakness 
    • Changes in blood pressure 
    • Decreased sperm count 

    Additional side effects may be seen in other medications that contain mesalazine 

    • Low blood cell counts 
    • Kidney problems 
    • Muscular pain 
    • Allergic swelling of the face 
    • Inflammation of the heart or lining of the heart 
    • Neuropathy 
    • Inflammation of the lung 
    • Difficulty breathing 
    • Hepatitis 
    • Gall stones 

    Some side effects are known to go away over time, while others that are more severe need to be treated immediately. Regardless of severity, inform your doctor of the side effects you are experiencing.  

    Warnings and Precautions

    If you have any of the following conditions, discuss taking Mesalamine with your doctor before taking this medication: 

    • Liver or kidney problems 
    • Peptic ulcers 
    • Chronic problems with the lungs 
    • Pyloric stenosis 
    • Inflammation of the heart 
    • Pregnant or breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed 
    • Allergies to Pentasa (Mesalamine) or the ingredients in this medication 
    • Allergy to sulfasalazine 

    Interactions with this Medication

    You may have an increased risk of renal reactions if you take Mesalamine with some NSAIDs or azathioprine. In the case of taking azathioprine, you may also experience abnormal blood cells.  

     Tell your physician or pharmacist if you are taking methotrexate, rifampicin, spironolactone, furosemide, sulfinpyrazone and probenecid to avoid possible interactions.

    Take interactions with this medication seriously and tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the drugs you are taking, both prescription and non-prescription.  

    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.

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