|Type of medicine||Aminosalicylate|
|Used for||Treatment of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis and prevention of further episodes|
|Also called||Balsalazide sodium
Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation of the large intestine which leads to problems such as ulceration and bleeding of the intestine. This causes symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
Although the precise way balsalazide works is not fully understood, it is thought to work on the cells lining the intestine to change the way these cells release certain chemicals. These chemicals contribute to making the intestine inflamed and are thought to be a factor in causing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
Balsalazide allows the damaged intestine to recover and once the symptoms have been controlled, balsalazide can be used to help prevent the disease from flaring up.
Before taking balsalazide
Before taking balsalazide make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you suffer from asthma.
- If you have a stomach or duodenal ulcer.
- If you suffer from a blood disorder.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine. This is particularly important if you have had an unusual reaction to a sulphonamide antibiotic, aspirin or salicylate.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take balsalazide
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take balsalazide exactly as your doctor has told you.
- Swallow balsalazide capsules whole, preferably with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.
- Take the capsules with or after food.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be checked. If your symptoms do not improve, let your doctor know.
- You may need blood tests from time to time to check your blood, liver and kidney function.
- It is important for you to follow any dietary or life-style advice you have been given, such as which foods to eat, drinking plenty of water and stopping smoking.
Can balsalazide cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods|
|Diarrhoea, abdominal pain||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, speak with your doctor|
Important: If you experience any of the following, contact your doctor straight away or go to your local accident and emergency department:
- Any unusual bleeding or bruising, sore throat, a high temperature or if you generally feel unwell.
- An allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, tongue, or mouth.
- A severe skin rash.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store balsalazide
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 60th Edition (September 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Colazide®; Manufacturer's PIL, Colazide®, Almirall Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 23/03/2011||Document ID: 3329 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.