Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)

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What is Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) prescribed for?

Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) is used to treat a bowel disease called ulcerative colitis. However this medication does not cure the disease.  But it does help with its various symptoms, such as; fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. This medication is used to increase the amount of time in between attacks. It works by reducing irritation and swelling in the large intestines.

Also, this medication is known to also treat rheumatoid arthritis, in the form of a delayed release tablet. It helps reduce joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Early treatment with this medication can reduce or prevent further joint damage, so you can go about your daily activities.

It is best to take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water. Or as directed by your doctor. To prevent stomach upset, your doctor may recommend a slow increase in the dosage when you begin the treatment. Keep in mind that dosage is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment.

Take plenty of fluids with this medication; this will help prevent kidney stones.

Before taking this medication, advise your doctor if you are allergic to Sulfasalazine, or to other sulfa based drugs; or to aspirin and other related medications such as salicylates, NSAIDs, and ibuprofen; or to mesalamine, or if you have any other allergies at all.

Before using this medication, it is best to inform your doctor of you medical history, especially if you have had the following; intestinal blockage, urinary blockage, kidney disease, liver disease, blood disorders (such as aplastic anemia, porphyria), a certain genetic condition (G6PD deficiency), asthma, severe allergies, current/recent/returning infections.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Get medical help right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

This medication is similar to aspirin. Children and teenagers should not take aspirin or aspirin-related medications (e.g., salicylates) if they have chickenpox, flu, or any undiagnosed illness, or if they have just been given a live virus vaccine (e.g., varicella vaccine), without first consulting a doctor about Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness.

In taking this medication Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, or unusual tiredness may occur. However, if the effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor right away.

This medication may cause your skin and urine turn into a yellow-orange tinge.  This effect is harmless and will disappear once you have stopped taking the medication. Also it may cause temporary male infertility. This effect is reversible when the medication is done.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: hearing changes (e.g., ringing in the ears), mental/mood changes, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine, painful urination, blood in the urine), new lump/growth in the neck (goiter), numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, signs of low blood sugar (e.g., hunger, cold sweat, blurred vision, weakness, fast heartbeat).

This medication may rarely cause very serious allergic reactions (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome), blood disorders (e.g., agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia), liver damage, nerve/muscle problems and infections. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: skin rash/blisters/peeling, mouth sores, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, chest pain, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat, cough), swollen lymph nodes, easy bruising/bleeding, severe tiredness, muscle pain/weakness (especially with fever and unusual tiredness), pale or blue skin/lips/nails, new/worsening joint pain, confusion, persistent/severe headache, unexplained neck stiffness, seizures, signs of liver problems (e.g., persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).

 What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

                                                                        

What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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