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Sulfasalazine

INFORMATION

Uses

Sulfasalazine is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and crohn disease.

How it works

Sulfasalazine is formed by combining two chemicals salicylate and sulfapyridine. When taken orally, the sulfapyridine moiety is absorbed from the gut into the body, whereas the salicylate moiety remains in the gut. In inflammatory bowel disease, salicylate act locally to reduce inflammation by decreasing the formation of chemicals called prostaglandins. In rheumatoid arthritis, the sulfapyridine absorbed in the body reduces pain and inflammation.

Common side effects

Pale colored skin, Abdominal pain, Muscle pain, Joint pain, Bruise, Bleeding, Diarrhoea, Headache, Loss of appetite, Rash, Sore throat, Stomach pain, Stomach upset, Itching, Urticaria, Vomiting, Fever

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

  • Do not start or continue sulfasalazine and consult your doctor if you are allergic to sulfasalazine or any of the components in the medicine, or any other sulfa drug.
  • Do not give sulfasalazine to children <2 years of age.
  • Drink adequate water ( altest 6 glasses a day).
  • You may be required to undergo blood and urine tests before starting and thereafter regularly at intervals, to monitor your safety.
  • The drug can give an orange colour to your urine or skin. This is  a harmless reaction.
  • Immediately consult your doctor  if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Frequently asked questions

Sulfasalazine

Q.What is sulfasalazine used for?
Sulfasalazine is used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (diseases of bowel characterized by recurring and remitting episodes of diarrhea and abdominal pain; these include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease) as well as severe rheumatoid arthritis (disease where the body's immune system attacks one's own organs, especially the small joints causing pain, swelling and deformity)

Q.How does it work?
Sulfasalazine is formed by combining two chemicals salicylate and sulfapyridine. In inflammatory bowel disease, salicylate act locally to reduce inflammation by decreasing the formation of chemicals called prostaglandins. In rheumatoid arthritis, the sulfapyridine absorbed in the body reduces pain and inflammation

Q.Can I take sulfasalazine with ibuprofen/ prednisolone/ naproxen/ aspirin/ Tylenol (paracetamol)/ omeprazole/ probiotic/ tramadol?
Sulfasalazine is usually prescribed with a steroid like prednisolone for immediate relief of symptoms of both inflammatory bowel disease (diseases of bowel characterized by recurring and remitting episodes of diarrhea and abdominal pain; these include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease) as well as rheumatoid arthritis. No clinically observed drug interaction has been reported with pain-relieving medication like ibuprofen/ naproxen/ aspirin/ paracetamol; although these drugs may be used with caution in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Omeprazole/ probiotic/ tramadol can be used with sulfasalazine. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding concomitant drugs.


Content on this page was last updated on 11 November, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)