Dipentum has been approved to treat people whose ulcerative colitis is in remission. The medication is designed to keep symptoms from returning by inhibiting the production of certain chemicals that cause inflammation in the lining of the colon. This product comes in capsule form and is typically taken twice a day. Some common side effects include joint pain, abdominal pain (or stomach pain), and diarrhea.
What Is Dipentum?
Dipentum® (olsalazine sodium) is a prescription medication that is used to treat ulcerative colitis. It is approved for use in people whose ulcerative colitis is in remission, and who cannot take sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®, Azulfidine EN-tabs®) due to side effects or other concerns. The medicine is used to prevent ulcerative colitis symptoms from returning in these people.
Dipentum belongs to a group of medications called aminosalicylates. The medication is believed to work by inhibiting the production of inflammatory chemicals in the lining of the colon. As a result, it decreases the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, chemicals that lead to the inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis.
The Dipentum molecule itself is inactive. However, when it reaches the colon, bacteria enzymes split the molecule, releasing the active forms of the medication.
Effects of Dipentum
Dipentum has been studied in people whose ulcerative colitis is in remission (which is the time between flare-ups, when symptoms subside). After six months, just 23 percent of those taking the drug had relapsed (their symptoms had returned), compared to about 45 percent of those not taking it.
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 April 20, 2007.
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 20, 2007.
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