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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Sulfasalazine
Sulfasalazine
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Foreign Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(sul fa SAL a zeen)

Brand Names
Azulfidine® EN-tabs®; Azulfidine® Tablets

Foreign Brand Names
Apo-Sulfasalazine® (Canada); PMS-Sulfasalazine (Canada); Salazopyrin® (Canada); Salazopyrin EN-Tabs® (Canada); S.A.S™ (Canada)

Therapeutic Categories
5-Aminosalicylic Acid Derivative

Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to sulfa medicines, salicylates, sulfasalazine, or any other part of the medicine.
  • If you have any of the following conditions: Porphyria, blockage in the gastrointestinal tract; blockage in the urinary tract.
  • If you are treating a child less than 2 years of age.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
  • The enteric coated form (EN-tabs) is used for rheumatoid arthritis (including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) in patients who need more than pain medicine.


How does it work?

  • Sulfasalazine works to decrease the irritation and inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis.


How is it best taken?

  • Swallow enteric-coated tablet whole. Do not chew, break, or crush. Take with a whole glass of water.
  • Do not take antacids, iron or folic acid with this medicine. Separate them.
  • Drink plenty of liquid unless told to drink less liquid by healthcare provider.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • This medicine can stain your urine, sweat, tears a yellow-orange color. May stain contact lenses and clothing.
  • You can get sunburned more easily. Avoid lots of sun. Use sunscreen; wear protective clothing and eyewear.
  • Be careful with G-6-PD deficiency.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are on warfarin.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Sperm counts and motility can be decreased. This is reversible within 2 months after the medicine is stopped.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Do not use if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Belly pain and cramps.
  • Headache. Mild pain medicine may help.
  • Belching or burping.
  • Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • Diarrhea.


What should I monitor?

  • Follow up with healthcare provider.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • If you see tablet bits in the stool.
  • Cramping, belly pain, or bloody diarrhea.
  • Fever.
  • Any rash.
  • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight container at room temperature.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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