Colitis Home > Mesalamine Warnings and Precautions

Before starting treatment for ulcerative colitis with mesalamine, warnings and precautions for the medication should be discussed with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. The drug may cause kidney damage, worsening of ulcerative colitis symptoms, or pericarditis. Mesalamine warnings and precautions also apply to people who are allergic to salicylates or to any components used to make the drug.

Mesalamine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking mesalamine if you have:
  • A pyloric stricture (a narrowing of the outlet of the stomach)
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, hepatitis, or cirrhosis 
  • A history of pancreatitis (an inflamed pancreas)
  • A history of pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to aspirin, food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you may currently be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Mesalamine Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking mesalamine include the following:
  • Mesalamine may cause a worsening of ulcerative colitis. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if your ulcerative colitis symptoms become worse when you start taking the medication.
  • Mesalamine may cause kidney damage. Your healthcare provider may decide to check your kidney function (using a blood test) before you start the drug and again periodically thereafter.
  • There have been a few reported cases of pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart) in people who took mesalamine products.


  • Mesalamine may cause liver damage, particularly in people who already have liver disease. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking mesalamine if you have liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis. 


  • Mesalamine is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for pregnant women, although the full risks are not known. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug while pregnant (see Mesalamine and Pregnancy).
  • Mesalamine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking the drug (see Mesalamine and Breastfeeding).
  • Mesalamine can interact with certain medications (see Mesalamine Drug Interactions).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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