Octasa MR tablets contain the active ingredient mesalazine, which is a type of medicine called an aminosalicylate. (Octasa MR tablets used to be called Mesren MR tablets. The manufacturer changed the brand name and packaging of Mesren MR with effect from 1 January 2013. The appearance of the tablets and the active ingredient (mesalazine) remain the same.)
Mesalazine is used to reduce inflammation in the intestines in a condition called ulcerative colitis and a related condition called Crohn's disease.
Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which there is inflammation of the large intestine. This results in ulceration and bleeding in the intestine and causes symptoms that include abdominal pain and diarrhoea that is mixed with blood, pus and mucus.
Mesalazine works by reducing the inflammation in the intestine, which in turn reduces the symptoms of the disease. The way in which mesalazine does this is not fully understood.
Octasa MR tablets are 'modified-release' tablets. They have a special coating that allows the medicine to pass through the stomach and be released in the intestine where it is needed. They are used for the short-term treatment of symptoms and can also be taken on a continuous basis to control the inflammation in the intestine and help prevent attacks.
The tablets are used to treat mild to moderate attacks of ulcerative colitis. They can also be taken on a continuous basis to help prevent attacks.
The tablets are taken continuously to help prevent flare-ups of this condition.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect. The more serious side effects listed here occur rarely.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
You should not take indigestion remedies (antacids) at the same time of day as Octasa MR tablets. This is because Octasa MR tablets have a special coating that lets them pass through the stomach and into the intestine, where the medicine is needed. Indigestion remedies reduce the acidity in the stomach, which could allow the tablets to dissolve there rather than letting them reach the intestine where they are needed.
If lactulose or other medicines that change the acidity of stools are taken with Octasa MR tablets, they may prevent the mesalazine from being released from the tablets in the large intestine, and so may make them less effective.
There may be an increased risk of side effects on the blood cells if mesalazine is used in combination with azathioprine or mercaptopurine.
There may be an increased risk of side effects on the kidneys if mesalazine is used in combination with other medicines that can affect kidney function, for example non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac.
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Octasa MR tablets used to be called Mesren MR tablets. The manufacturer changed the brand name and packaging of Mesren MR to Octasa MR with effect from 1 January 2013. The appearance of the tablets and the active ingredient (mesalazine) remain the same.