Pentasa® (mesalamine) is a prescription medication used to treat mild-to-moderately active ulcerative colitis. Although it is officially approved to treat ulcerative colitis only, Pentasa also has an "off-label" use (or indication): the treatment of Crohn's disease. This drug is not approved for use in children.
Pentasa comes in the form of controlled-release capsules and is thought to work by slowing down the production of certain inflammatory cells in the lining of the colon. Because of the controlled-release action of the capsules, the medicine can dissolve slowly throughout the digestive tract.
(To learn more about the indications for this drug, click Pentasa Uses. This article also explains how Pentasa works and lists some of the other treatment options for ulcerative colitis.)