Generic Name: mesalamine
Drug Class: 5-aminosalicylic acid derivative
Asacol HD Indications
Asacol HD (mesalamine) is a delayed-release oral prescription indicated to treat moderately active ulcerative colitis among adults. It relieves symptoms of this bowel disease, including diarrhea, stomach pain, and rectal bleeding.
Note that the safety and effectiveness of this medication, if used for more than 6 weeks, have not been established yet.
Asacol HD Dosage Forms
This is available in Asacol HD 800 mg delayed-release tablets.
Asacol HD Mechanism of Action
This delayed-release medication is an aminosalicylate whose mechanism of action is still unknown. It has a topical effect rather than systemic. It is thought to work by blocking cyclooxygenase and inhibiting prostaglandin production from diminishing inflammation or swelling in the colon.
How to Use Asacol HD
Before taking Asacol HD, it is necessary to read the information leaflet or medication guide given by a healthcare professional. You must not take any medication unless you have understood all the information regarding it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further medical advice or additional details.
This tablet is only meant to be taken by mouth. You may administer your dose with or without a meal. Swallow the tablet entirely and drink a lot of fluids. Do not split, crush, or chew the delayed-release tablets because they are meant to be released in the colon.
Keep a dosing schedule to prevent missing doses. This is usually prescribed thrice a day. If you forget your Asacol HD dose, take it right away, except if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not increase or decrease your dosage/frequency, for they depend on your weight, medical condition, and response to treatment. You should also keep taking this medication for as long as the doctor prescribes.
Asacol HD Side Effects
Mild & Common Side Effects:
-Joint and/or muscle pain
Severe Side Effects:
-Increased abdominal pain
-Kidney problems (blood in the urine, changes in urine output)
-Yellowish eyes and skin
-Shortness of breath
Note that this is not a full/complete list of the side effects of Asacol HD.
If you experience severe or persistent adverse reactions, discontinue Asacol HD and consult your doctor or any healthcare professional.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take this oral aminosalicylate if you have a known allergy to mesalamine or any inactive ingredients each tablet contains. Always be watchful for any sign of a severe allergic reaction, including trouble breathing, swelling of the face and neck, severe dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, hives/itchiness, and skin rashes. If this occurs, stop taking this oral medication and seek emergency medical help immediately.
Certain diseases or disorders may greatly impact how you will react to the treatment. Disclose complete medical history to your physician, especially any history of pyloric stenosis or any stomach blockage, kidney disease, or liver disease. Because of potential drug interactions, it is also important to talk about all the prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, supplements, and herbal products you are using.
You must limit your exposure to the sun as Asacol HD can make you more sensitive to the sun. It can also worsen any existing skin problems, like eczema and atopic dermatitis. When going outdoors, always apply sunblock lotion and wear protective clothing. You must also avoid indoor tanning booths and use sunlamps.
This type of medication is similar to aspirin. Children or adolescents below the age of 18 should not take Asacol HD if they have flu, chickenpox, undiagnosed illness, or are recently vaccinated. Taking aspirin if these symptoms are present may result in Reye’s syndrome.
For pregnant moms, this medication may be used only if clearly needed. You must talk to your doctor regarding the possible risks and benefits prior to taking this drug. If breastfeeding, avoid this medication. It may pass into breastmilk and cause undesirable effects on nursing infants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How fast does Asacol HD work?
This oral drug may work as fast as two weeks.
2. How long should I take Asacol HD?
This prescription medication is not meant for long-term use and can only be prescribed for no more than 6 weeks.
3. Does Asacol HD cause weight gain?
This aminosalicylate does not cause weight gain.
4. Which is better, Lialda vs Asacol HD?
These 5-aminosalicylates are equally safe and effective. However, the former could be used as a maintenance treatment to avoid remission of ulcerative colitis.
5. How much does Asacol HD cost?
You may check Asacol HD prices from this page.