Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)

What is Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)?

Sulfasalazine affects a substance in the body that causes inflammation, tissue damage, and diarrhea.

Sulfasalazine is used to treat moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. It is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in children and adults who have received other arthritis medications without successful treatment of symptoms.

Sulfasalazine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)?

You should not use this medication if you have porphyria, a blockage in your bladder or intestines, or if you are allergic to sulfasalazine, sulfa drugs, aspirin, or salicylates (such as Disalcid, Doan’s Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others).

Before using sulfasalazine, tell your doctor if you have asthma, kidney or liver disease, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

Also tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin), folic acid (Folicin, FA-8), or vitamin or mineral supplements that contain folic acid.

Do not crush, break, or chew a sulfasalazine tablet. Swallow the pill whole. The enteric-coated tablet has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating.

For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Sulfasalazine will not cure ulcerative colitis, but it can reduce the number of attacks you have.

If you are treating arthritis, do not stop using any of your other arthritis medications until your doctor tells you to.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to sulfasalazine, or if you have:

  • a blockage in your bladder or intestines
  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system)
  • if you are allergic to sulfa drugs (such as Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim, and others); or
  • if you are allergic to aspirin or other salicylates (such as Disalcid, Doan’s Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others)

Before using sulfasalazine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • asthma
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • kidney disease; or
  • liver disease

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take sulfasalazine.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Sulfasalazine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Azulfidine Side Effects

What are the possible side effects of Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using sulfasalazine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fever, sore throat, or other flu symptoms
  • pale skin, easy bruising
  • dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • pain or burning when you urinate
  • urinating less than usual or not at all
  • the appearance of a whole tablet in your stool; or
  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach
  • loss of appetite
  • headache, ringing in your ears
  • dizziness, spinning sensation
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • mild itching or skin rash

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Azulfidine Interactions

What other drugs affect Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)?

Before taking sulfasalazine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin)
  • folic acid (Folicin, FA-8); or
  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain folic acid

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with sulfasalazine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

What should I avoid while taking Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)?

Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using sulfasalazine.

Azulfidine Dosage

How should I take Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medication after a meal.

Do not crush, break, or chew a sulfasalazine tablet. Swallow the pill whole. The enteric-coated tablet has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating.

For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Sulfasalazine will not cure ulcerative colitis, but it can reduce the number of attacks you have.

If you are treating arthritis, do not stop using any of your other arthritis medications until your doctor tells you to. Your symptoms may not improve right away when you start taking sulfasalazine, and you may still need your other medications for awhile.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your liver and kidney function may need to be checked with blood and urine tests on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Store sulfasalazine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I overdose on Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, drowsiness, or seizure (convulsions).

What happens if I miss a dose of Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Edited from everydayhealth.com


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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