Sulfasalazine

Generic Name: Sulfasalazine (SUL-fa-SAL-a-zeen)Brand Name: Azulfidine

Sulfasalazine is used for:

Treating ulcerative colitis. It is also used to increase the time between attacks of ulcerative colitis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Sulfasalazine is a salicylate. It decreases inflammation. Exactly how it works to treat ulcerative colitis is not known.

Do NOT use Sulfasalazine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Sulfasalazine
  • you are allergic to salicylates (eg, aspirin) or sulfonamide (eg, sulfamethoxazole)
  • you have the blood disorder porphyria or a stomach, bowel, or urinary tract blockage
  • you have folate deficiency anemia

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Sulfasalazine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Sulfasalazine . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver or kidney problems, asthma, severe allergies, blood problems (eg, anemia, low white blood cell levels), or rheumatoid arthritis
  • if you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
  • if you have an infection (eg, strep throat)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Sulfasalazine . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or methotrexate because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Sulfasalazine
  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), digoxin, or folic acid because their effectiveness may be decreased by Sulfasalazine
  • Methenamine because the risk of crystals in the urine may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Sulfasalazine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Sulfasalazine :

Use Sulfasalazine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Sulfasalazine by mouth after meals.
  • Take Sulfasalazine with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Sulfasalazine is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • Space your doses evenly over the hours you are awake. If possible, try not to space your doses more than 8 hours apart.
  • Take Sulfasalazine on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
  • Continue to take Sulfasalazine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Sulfasalazine , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Sulfasalazine .

Important safety information:

  • Sulfasalazine may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Sulfasalazine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Sulfasalazine may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Sulfasalazine . Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Sulfasalazine may discolor the urine or skin an orange-yellow color. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
  • Contact your doctor if you develop sore throat, fever, unusually pale skin, dark urine, pale stools, persistent stomach pain or loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or unusual bruising or bleeding. Contact your doctor if you have yellowing of the skin along with dark urine, pale stools, or persistent stomach pain or loss of appetite. These could be signs of a serious side effect.
  • Some men taking Sulfasalazine have developed a decreased number of sperm and infertility. These effects usually went away after Sulfasalazine was stopped. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, complete blood cell counts, or urine tests, may be performed while you use Sulfasalazine . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Sulfasalazine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Sulfasalazine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • Use Sulfasalazine with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 10 years old who have diarrhea or an infection of the stomach or bowel.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Sulfasalazine while you are pregnant. Sulfasalazine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Sulfasalazine , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Sulfasalazine :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Headache; loss of appetite; mild stomach upset or pain; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody diarrhea; bluish discoloration of the skin or nails; chest pain; dark urine; decreased urination; fever, chills, or sore throat; hearing loss; mental or mood changes; muscle pain; numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes; pale stools; persistent loss of appetite; pinpoint bruises; red, swollen, peeling, or blistered skin; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, drowsiness, headache, or trouble sleeping; severe or persistent stomach pain; shortness of breath; trouble walking; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; unusually pale skin; yellowing of the eyes; yellowing of the skin along with dark urine, pale stools, or persistent loss of appetite.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include seizures; severe stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting; unusual or severe drowsiness.

Proper storage of Sulfasalazine :

Store Sulfasalazine at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Keep Sulfasalazine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Sulfasalazine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Sulfasalazine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Sulfasalazine . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Sulfasalazine Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Sulfasalazine Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Sulfasalazine Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • sulfasalazine Oral, Rectal Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • sulfasalazine Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Azulfidine Oral, Rectal Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Azulfidine Prescribing Information (FDA)