Aminosalicylates or 5-ASAs are used for inducing and maintaining remission in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative
Colitis. They reduce inflammation in the damaged lining of the intestine. Each brand works differently, releasing active
drug in different part of the intestine. (Sulfasalazine may also be used in other condition like Rheumatoid Arthritis).
Your doctor will start you on the one that will give you the most benefit. It is important that you stick to the same
medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
You may experience the following side effects while on Aminosalicylates. Tell your doctor if you encounter any of them so that adjustments to your therapy may be made to reduce the occurrence of these side effects where possible. These include:
If you experience any severe signs of illness, or side effects such as unexplained bruising, bleeding (nosebleeds), sore throat, fever or malaise, severe abdominal pain, or a blistering skin rash contact your doctor immediately.
Oral 5-ASAs are usually taken twice or three times daily. Your doctor may start with a lower dose to minimize the side effects and increase the dose slowly over time.
Rectal 5-ASAs are usually given once at night, up to two times a day for severe condition.
Higher doses are usually given for acute attacks and lower doses are used to maintain remission.
Improvement in symptoms occur gradually, takes about 6-12 weeks to see effect.
How should it be taken?
If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is nearer to the time of your next dose, skip the missed
dose. Do not take two doses at the same.
As aminosalicylates may interact with some medications, please consult your pharmacist or doctor if you are taking or before taking any other medications. E.g. antacids, warfarin, digoxin.