Colitis Home > Sulfasalazine

Sulfasalazine is a medication that is prescribed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Not only can the medicine reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis, it can also prevent them from returning. Sulfasalazine comes in tablet form and is typically taken three to six times a day. Side effects of the drug may include headache, reversible low sperm count in men, and loss of appetite.

What Is Sulfasalazine?

Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat ulcerative colitis. It is also available in a delayed-release tablet form (see Azulfidine EN-tabs), which is approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
 
(Click What Is Sulfasalazine Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Sulfasalazine?

The medication is manufactured by Pfizer, Inc.
 

How Does It Work?

Sulfasalazine belongs to a group of medications called aminosalicylates. It is thought that the medicine works by inhibiting the production of inflammatory chemicals in the lining of the colon. Sulfasalazine decreases the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, chemicals that lead to the inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis.
 

When and How to Take Sulfasalazine

General considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
 
  • Sulfasalazine comes in tablet form. It is generally taken by mouth, usually three to six times per day.
     
  • It can be taken with or without food. If the drug bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
     
  • The medication should be taken at the same times each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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