Precautions and Warnings With Sulfasalazine

There are many important precautions and warnings with sulfasalazine to be aware of prior to taking it, including existing medical conditions you should tell your healthcare provider about. Let your healthcare provider know if you have kidney or liver disease, asthma, or anemia. Precautions and warnings with sulfasalazine also extend to people who are allergic to any components of the drug, have porphyria, or are allergic to sulfonamides or salicylates.

Sulfasalazine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®) if you have:
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • An intestinal blockage
  • Porphyria (problems with certain enzymes in the body)
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Anemia or any other low blood cell count
  • Asthma
  • Any allergies, including allergies to sulfa drugs, 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 are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Sulfasalazine

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking sulfasalazine include the following:
  • The medication may not be safe to use in people with severe asthma or allergies, kidney disease, liver disease, or anemia (or any other low blood counts). Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these conditions before taking sulfasalazine.
  • Sulfasalazine can cause low sperm count and infertility in men, although fertility usually returns after the medication is stopped.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while taking sulfasalazine, as this will help protect your kidneys and can help prevent kidney stones.
  • Your healthcare provider should regularly check your blood counts while you are taking the drug to make sure you are not developing anemia or other serious problems.
  • Sulfasalazine 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 Azulfidine and Pregnancy).
  • Sulfasalazine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking the drug (see Azulfidine and Breastfeeding).
  • Sulfasalazine can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Sulfasalazine).
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Sulfasalazine Drug Information

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