Sulfasalazine for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sulfasalazine is a medicine formed from salicylic acid (the active ingredient in aspirin) and an antibiotic, sulfapyridine. It is given by mouth (orally) and is available in time-release tablets.
How It Works
Why It Is Used
Sulfasalazine is used for early, milder cases of rheumatoid arthritis. It may be used with other medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for more active rheumatoid arthritis.
People who have sulfa or salicylate allergies should not use this medicine.
How Well It Works
Studies show that sulfasalazine is effective in relieving the symptoms and slowing the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. It may take up to 3 months to notice an improvement.1
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
You could be sensitive to sunlight while taking sulfasalazine. Wear sunglasses, and use sunscreen.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Advice for women
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.