You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this drug 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, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Had pancreatitis (an inflamed pancreas)
- Had 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 (see Mesalamine and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Mesalamine and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Mesalamine Warnings and Precautions to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Mesalamine 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. Mesalamine decreases the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, chemicals that lead to the inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis.
General considerations for when and how to take this medication include the following:
- Some forms of mesalamine (capsules and tablets) are taken by mouth, while others (suppositories and enemas) are taken rectally.
- Some forms of the drug are taken just once a day, while others are taken four times daily.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.