Asacol (5-ASA) – Generic




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What kind of drug is Asacol?

Chemical Name MESALAMINE (me-SAL-a-meen)

ASACOL is used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis. It works inside the bowel by helping to reduce the inflammation and other symptoms of the disease. ASACOL is generally used to treat ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and proctosigmoiditis. It may also be used to prevent the symptoms of ulcerative colitis from recurring.


Take ASACOL exactly as prescribed by your doctor or indicated on the prescription label.

ASACOL is usually taken with a full glass of water. It can be taken with or without food. Consult your doctor for instructions. It is important not to crush, break, or chew the tablet. Swallow the tablet whole because the enteric-coated tablet has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating.


Before using ASACOL, patients should be aware of essential safety information that may affect them. Tell your doctor if you have any of the conditions listed below as you may need special testing or dose adjustments to safely take ASACOL:

  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • pyloric stenosis
  • congestive heart failure
  • history of allergy to sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)

This medication must not be used during pregnancy because it may cause harm to an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Side Effects

Every medication has side effects; however it is rare that they may occur. Patients can usually find the complete list of side effects with their medication.

Serious side effects may include:

  • allergic reaction including hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • severe stomach pain or cramping
  • fever
  • headache
  • bloody diarrhea

Common serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea or vomiting
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • fever, sore throat, or other flu symptoms
  • constipation
  • headache or dizziness
  • fatigue
  • skin rash

Important: Call your doctor if you find undissolved tablets in your stool.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about additional side effects or any side effect that bothers you or that do not go away.