Side Effects of Asacol (Mesalamine)

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Mesalamine is a prescription anti-inflammatory medication marketed under several names including Asacol, Lialda, Apriso, and Pentasa. Asacol is one of the most common brand name versions of mesalamine. Mesalamine is involved in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The side effects of Asacol or mesalamine can range from the mild to the severe and include dizziness, nasal congestion, nausea, and headache.

The primary purpose of Asacol is to relieve inflammation in the lower digestive tract caused by ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis belongs to a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD. Asacol helps to ease the symptoms of ulcerative colitis including stomach pain, inflammation, and rectal bleeding. It typically comes as a delayed-release pill that is taken three times daily.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common side effects of Asacol mesalamine are headache and dizziness, nasal congestion, cramping or pain in the abdomen, and diarrhea. Other side effects of Asacol include indigestion, gassiness, listlessness, changes in appetite, hair loss, and acne. In some patients, mesalamine can actually worsen the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Certain side effects of Asacol or mesalamine can be more severe than others. If any of these side effects occur, contact your doctor, particularly if they could be signs of an allergic reaction. According to the National Institutes of Health, serious side effects of Asacol include severe abdominal pain, blood in stool, blood in urine, vomiting with blood, and chest pain. Flu-like symptoms, an increased heart rate, and yellowing of the skin or eyes are rare serious side effects of Asacol. Difficulty breathing, swelling, hives, skin rash, and itching are common signs of a serious allergic reaction to Asacol.

Some medications should not be taken together as they can interact and cause a negative reaction. WebMD reports that several salicylates can cause complications when taken with Asacol. Heparin and methotrexate are among the biggest culprits. Before using mesalamine, tell your doctor about any other drugs or supplements you are taking.

Asacol, also known by the generic name mesalamine, is a prescription drug used to treat patients with ulcerative colitis. Mesalamine can help to relieve ulcerative colitis symptoms like abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, and rectal bleeding. The side effects of Asacol include dizziness, diarrhea, and a worsening of existing symptoms of colitis. Tell your doctor if any serious side effects occur or if side effects are long-lasting and worsening.


Asacol Oral. WebMD.

Mesalamine. National Institutes of Health.

Mesalamine (Oral Route). Mayo Clinic.


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