Why is this medication prescribed?
Olsalazine, an anti-inflammatory medicine, is used to treat ulcerative colitis (a condition which causes swelling and sores in the lining of the colon [large intestine] and rectum). Olsalazine reduces the bowel inflammation, diarrhea (stool frequency), rectal bleeding, and abdominal pain.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Olsalazine comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken twice a day after meals or with food to prevent stomach upset. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take olsalazine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking olsalazine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to olsalazine, aspirin or aspirin-like medicines, or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin) and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking osalazine, call your doctor.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to the sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Olsalazine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Olsalazine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach upset
- loss of appetite
- blurred vision
- pain in joints
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- skin rash
- chest pain
- unusual bleeding or bruising
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to olsalazine.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.