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Balsalazide is used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease.

How it works

Balsalazide blocks the release of chemical messengers that cause inflammation of the lining of the intestines.

Common side effects

Nausea, Headache, Diarrhoea, Abdominal pain

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Expert advice

  • Balsalazide is for short-term use only. Do not take this medication for > 8 weeks in children (5-17 years) and > 12 weeks in adults unless advised.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or had liver or kidney disease or pyloric stenosis (a condition in which the stomach empties slowly).
  • Balsalazide may sometimes worsen the colitis symptoms causing fever, stomach pain, cramps, or bloody diarrhea. Seek immediate medical advice if you experience any such symptoms.
  • Do not use balsalazide capsules in children < 5 years of age.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking balsalazide, call your doctor immediately.

Frequently asked questions



Does balsalazide cause weight gain?
Yes, balsalazide may cause weight gain


Does balsalazide contain sulfa?
No, Balsalazide does not contain sulfa


Does balsalazide contain mesalamine?
No it does not contain mesalamine but it is a prodrug that is enzymatically cleaved in the colon to produce mesalamine

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Is balsalazide a sulfa drug/ an immunosuppressant/a steroid/NSAID/a mesalamine?
Balsalazide is an anti-inflammatory drug and releases mesalamine in the large intestine


Does Balsalazide work?
Balsalazide works inside the intestines (bowel) to reduce the inflammation and other symptoms of the disease called ulcerative colitis


Is balsalazide better than asacol?
In patients with acute ulcerative colitis, balsalazide led to greater remission rates and tolerance than asacol (mesalamine). Balsalazide is more effective and better tolerated than mesalamine as a treatment for acute ulcerative colitis.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 March, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)