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Understanding Crohn Disease Medications (cont.)

Aspirin-like anti-inflammatories

Patient Comments

This class of drugs includes mesalamine (Asacol, Pentasa, Apriso, Lialda, Canasa, Rowasa), olsalazine (Dipentum), and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine, EN-Tabs). Mesalamine is generally better tolerated than sulfasalazine. The newer aspirin-like anti-inflammatory agents are unique, because they release the active drug in specific areas of the small or large intestine, thus allowing doctors to choose a drug based on the site of inflammation.

  • How aspirin-like anti-inflammatory agents work: These drugs are used in people with mild disease. Like aspirin, aspirin like anti-inflammatories reduce inflammation and pain by inhibiting a variety of immune reactions in the body.
  • Who should not use these medications: Individuals who have peptic ulcer disease, severe renal failure, or allergy to aspirin or aspirin like products should not take aspirin like anti-inflammatories. Those with allergy to sulfa drugs should not take sulfasalazine.
  • Use: These drugs may be administered orally or by rectal enemas or suppositories.
  • Drug or food interactions: Aspirin like anti-inflammatory agents may increase the risk of bleeding when administered with other drugs that alter blood coagulation, such as heparin.
  • Side effects: Aspirin like anti-inflammatories may be toxic to blood cells and may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and/or constipation.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/9/2013
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Crohn's Disease Medications:

Crohn's Disease Medications - Treatment

What treatments have been effective in treating Crohn's disease?

Crohn's Disease Medications - Anti-inflammatories

What aspirin like anti-inflammatories have been effective in treating Crohn's disease?

Crohn's Disease Medications - Corticosteroids

What corticosteroids have been effective in treating Crohn's disease?

Crohn's Disease Medications - Immunosuppressants

What immunosuppressants have been effective in treating Crohn's disease?

Crohn's Disease Medications - Biologic Drugs

What biologic drugs have been effective in treating Crohn's disease?




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Crohn Disease »

Crohn disease is an idiopathic, chronic, transmural inflammatory process of the bowel that often leads to fibrosis and obstructive symptoms, which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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