Drug Uses

Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) is used to treat moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.


How To Use

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 Azulfidine 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. Azulfidine 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 Azulfidine, 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.


Possible Side Effects

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 Azulfidine 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.
• 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).
• 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.


Precautions

If you have kidney or liver damage or any blood disease, your doctor will check you very carefully before prescribing Azulfidine.
Deaths have been reported from allergic reactions, blood diseases, kidney or liver damage, changes in nerve and muscle impulses, and fibrosing alveolitis (inflammation of the lungs due to a thickening or scarring of tissue).
Signs such as sore throat, fever, abnormal paleness of the skin, purple or red spots on the skin, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin) may be an indication of a serious blood disorder.
Your doctor will do frequent blood counts and urine tests.
Use caution taking Azulfidine if you have a severe allergy or bronchial asthma.
If you develop loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting, report it immediately. The doctor may need to adjust your dosage or change the prescription.
If Azulfidine EN-tabs are eliminated undisintegrated, stop taking the drug and notify your doctor immediately (You may lack the intestinal enzymes necessary to dissolve Azulfidine).
Men taking Azulfidine may experience temporary infertility and a low sperm count.
Skin and urine may become yellow-orange in color while taking Azulfidine.
In addition, prolonged exposure to the sun should be avoided.

This drug is generally not prescribed for children under 6. Azulfidine EN-tabs are not recommended for children with the type of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that affects the whole system, only for children with the type that stays in the joints.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Azulfidine during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Azulfidine is secreted in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Azulfidine is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.


Overdose

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).


Missed dose

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.


Storage
Keep out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F).

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