Sulfasalazine for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®) is approved to treat ulcerative colitis, a healthcare provider may also prescribe this drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Using sulfasalazine for arthritis is considered an "off-label," or unapproved, use. However, the delayed-release form of sulfasalazine (Azulfidine EN-Tabs) is approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
As part of a class of drugs known as aminosalicylates, sulfasalazine works by inhibiting the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body. Sulfasalazine decreases the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, chemicals that lead to inflammation.
(For more details on using this medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, click What Is Sulfasalazine Used For?. This article takes a closer look at how this medication works, other possible uses of the drug, and whether it's safe for use in children.)
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