Colitis Home > Asacol

Asacol is commonly prescribed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. It is thought to work by inhibiting the production of inflammatory chemicals in the lining of the colon. Asacol comes in the form of delayed-release tablets, which do not dissolve until they reach the end of the small intestine. Side effects can include a sore throat, belching, and stomach pain.

In 2013, Asacol 400 mg tablets were removed from the market and replaced with Delzicol 400 mg capsules. Please see Delzicol for up-to-date information.  

What Is Asacol?

Asacol® (mesalamine) is a prescription medication that is used to treat ulcerative colitis.
(Click Asacol Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Asacol is manufactured by Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals.

How Does Asacol Work?

Asacol belongs to a group of medications called aminosalicylates. It is believed to work by inhibiting the production of inflammatory chemicals in the lining of the colon. As a result, the medication decreases the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, chemicals that lead to the inflammation of ulcerative colitis.
The tablets have a special delayed-release coating. The coating prevents the tablets from dissolving until they reach the end of the small intestine.

Effects of Asacol

In previous clinical studies, people taking Asacol experienced less bleeding and diarrhea than those not taking the medication. It was also shown to help prevent ulcerative colitis symptoms from returning.
One interesting study looked at the effect of Asacol on male infertility. Sulfasalazine (a similar medication for ulcerative colitis) often causes male infertility. In this small study, men who developed infertility while taking sulfasalazine were switched to Asacol. All men showed improved sperm count, and eight out of nine men showed improved sperm motility.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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