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sulfasalazine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking sulfasalazine oral (Azulfidine, Azulfidine EN-tabs, Sulfazine)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to sulfasalazine, or if you have:

  • a blockage in your bladder or intestines;
  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);
  • if you are allergic to sulfa drugs (such as Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim, and others); or
  • if you are allergic to aspirin or other salicylates (such as Disalcid, Doan's Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others).

Before using sulfasalazine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • asthma;
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency;
  • kidney disease; or
  • liver disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take sulfasalazine.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Sulfasalazine 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.

How should I take sulfasalazine oral (Azulfidine, Azulfidine EN-tabs, Sulfazine)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medication after a meal.

Do not crush, break, or chew a sulfasalazine tablet. Swallow the pill whole. The enteric-coated tablet has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill could damage this coating.

For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Sulfasalazine will not cure ulcerative colitis, but it can reduce the number of attacks you have.

If you are treating arthritis, do not stop using any of your other arthritis medications until your doctor tells you to. Your symptoms may not improve right away when you start taking sulfasalazine, and you may still need your other medications for awhile.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your liver and kidney function may need to be checked with blood and urine tests on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Store sulfasalazine 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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