Before taking mesalamine,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to mesalamine, balsalazide (Colazal, Giazo); olsalazine (Dipentum); salicylate pain relievers such as aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate, diflunisal, magnesium salicylate (Doan's, others); sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), any other medications, or any of the ingredients found in mesalamine. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antacids such as aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide (Maalox), calcium carbonate (Tums), or calcium carbonate and magnesium (Rolaids); aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran); or mercaptopurine (Purinethol). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you more carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had myocarditis (swelling of the heart muscle), pericarditis (swelling of the sac around the heart), or liver or kidney disease. If you will be taking the delayed-release tablets or capsules, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a gastrointestinal obstruction (a blockage in your stomach or intestine).
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking mesalamine, call your doctor.
you should know that mesalamine may cause a serious reaction. Many of the symptoms of this reaction are similar to the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, so it may be difficult to tell if you are experiencing a reaction to the medication or a flare (episode of symptoms) of your disease. Call your doctor if you experience some or all of the following symptoms: stomach pain or cramping, bloody diarrhea, fever, headache, weakness, or rash.
if you have phenylketonuria (PKU, an inherited condition in which a special diet must be followed to prevent mental retardation), you should know that the extended release capsules contains aspartame that forms phenylalanine.