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.
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: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Asacol [package insert]. Rockaway, NJ: Warner Chilcott (US), LLC;2013 October.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 18, 2007.
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