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salsalate (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking salsalate (Disalcid, Salsitab)?

Salicylates may cause life-threatening heart or circulation problems such as heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term. Do not use salsalate just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Salicylates may also cause serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation (forming of a hole). These conditions can be fatal and can occur without warning while you are taking salsalate, especially in older adults.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to aspirin or to an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).

To make sure you can safely take salsalate, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • asthma;
  • heart disease, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure;
  • a history of stroke or heart attack;
  • a stomach ulcer or intestinal bleeding;
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
  • diabetes;
  • swelling or fluid retention;
  • anemia (a lack of red blood cells);
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD);
  • nasal polyps; or
  • if you are dehydrated.

FDA pregnancy category C. Salsalate may be harmful to an unborn baby if the mother takes the medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Salsalate can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

This medication should not be given to a child or teenager who has a fever, especially if the child also has flu symptoms or chicken pox. Salicylates can cause a serious and sometimes fatal condition called Reye's syndrome in children.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from salsalate.

How should I take salsalate (Disalcid, Salsitab)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Salsalate may be taken up to 3 times per day. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Take the medicine with a full glass of water.

Take salsalate with food, milk, or an antacid if it upsets your stomach. To prevent stomach upset, do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking salsalate.

It may take up to 2 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of treatment.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using salsalate.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using salsalate. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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