2. BEFORE YOU TAKE ASACOL 400MG MR TABLETS
Do not take Asacol 400mg MR tablets if you:
- are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the ingredients in the product (see Section 6 on ‘What Asacol 400mg MR tablets contain’)
- are allergic to aspirin or any other salicylate
- have had kidney problems or blood abnormalities while taking other medicines such as sulphasalazine
- have severe kidney impairment.
DO NOT give the tablets to children under 2 years of age.
Take special care with Asacol 400mg MR tablets
- Asacol should be used with extreme caution in patients with confirmed mild to moderate kidney impairment.
- Asacol should be used with caution in the elderly.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including those obtained without a prescription. Asacol 400mg MR tablets should NOT be taken with Lactulose (a medicine for constipation).
Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, Cox-II inhibitors) and azathioprine in particular may increase the risk of kidney reactions.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not take Asacol 400mg MR tablets unless advised otherwise by their doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Tests on your liver, kidney and blood
Before you start treatment with Asacol 400mg tablets you will have a blood and urine test to check how well your kidneys are working and what your blood is doing. During treatment your doctor will check how well your liver, kidney and blood is working by taking blood and urine sample periodically during your treatment.
Driving and using machines
Asacol 400mg MR tablets are not expected to affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
Important information about some of the ingredients of Asacol 400mg MR tablets
Lactose - if you know you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicine.
3. HOW TO TAKE ASACOL 400MG MR TABLETS
Always take Asacol 400mg MR tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor if you are not sure.
The tablets should be swallowed whole with water; do not break, crush or chew them.
Whilst taking this medicine ensure you drink adequate fluids to remain well hydrated, especially after severe or prolonged episodes of vomiting and /or diarrhoea, high fever or heavy sweating. This is to avoid problems with your kidneys.
The usual dose is:
Treating ulcerative colitis - 6 tablets each day divided throughout the day. For example:
- 2 tablets 3 times a day OR
- 3 tablets twice a day.
Preventing further episodes of ulcerative colitis
- between 3 and 6 tablets once daily or divided throughout the day. For example:
- a daily dosage of 3 tablets may be taken as 3 tablets once a day or 1 tablet 3 times a day
- a daily dosage of 6 tablets may be taken as 6 tablets once a day or 3 tablets twice a day.
Preventing further episodes of Crohn’s ileo-colitis – between 3 and 6 tablets divided throughout the day. For example:
- a daily dosage of 3 tablets may be taken as 1 tablet 3 times a day
- a daily dosage of 6 tablets may be taken as 3 tablets twice a day.
DO NOT take more than 6 tablets a day.
Asacol 400mg MR tablets are not recommended for use in children.
If you stop taking Ascol 400mg MR tablets
Keep taking the tablets for as long as your doctor tells you. Your symptoms may come back if you stop treatment too early. Remember to get a repeat prescription at the right time so that you do not miss a day of treatment.
If you take more Asacol 400mg MR tablets than you should
Do not exceed the recommended dose. You should only take as many tablets as your doctor has instructed on the pharmacist’s label. If you take too much medicine, tell your doctor immediately or go to your nearest Accident & Emergency Department. Take the tablet pack with you if possible.
If you forget to take Asacol 400mg MR tablets
If you forget to take a dose at the required time, take it as soon as you remember and continue taking your tablets as before. DO NOT take more than two doses in one hour. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and carry on as before.
If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
4. POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Like all medicines, Asacol 400mg MR tablets can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Allergic reactions can occur. Tell your doctor if you get:
- a rash with or without itching, any shortness of breath, palpitations (rapid heart beat) or chest pain. These effects will usually disappear when you stop taking the medicine.
Tell your doctor immediately
if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- fever, sore throat, mouth or lip ulcers, spots underneath your skin anywhere on your body, including the genital and anal regions, become very pale, swollen ankles or have unusual bleeding (e.g. unexpected nosebleeds or bleeding gums)
- skin rash with flaking, boils or sore lips or mouth
- bruising more easily or suspect blood abnormalities
- problems with kidney function
Common side effects
(in more than 1 in 100 people but less than 1 in 10 people):
- abdominal pain
- nausea (feeling sick)
Rare side effects
(in less than 1 in 1000 people):
- problems with heart, lung, liver or kidney function
- inflammation of the pancreas
- blood abnormalities
- numbness and tingling of the fingers and toes due to damaged nerves
- hair loss
- skin rash.
Very rare side effects
(in less than 1 in 10,000 people):
- worsening of symptoms of colitis
- Erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (skin and mucous membrane disease).
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
5. HOW TO STORE ASACOL 400MG MR TABLETS
Keep out of the sight and reach of children.
Store Asacol 400mg MR tablets in their original pack below 25°C (77°F) in a dry place, protected from direct sunlight.
Do not remove the moisture absorbing pouch from the bottle. The pouch is not part of your medicine and is marked DO NOT EAT. Keep the bottle tightly closed.
Do not use Asacol 400mg MR tablets after the expiry date which is stated on the pack after ‘Exp’. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.
6. FURTHER INFORMATION
What Asacol 400mg MR tablets contain
The active substance is mesalazine (also known as 5-aminosalicylic acid). Each tablet contains 400mg mesalazine.
The other ingredients are
Core: lactose monohydrate, sodium starch glycollate, magnesium stearate, talc, povidone.
Coating: methacrylic acid-methyl methacrylate copolymer (1:2), dibutyl sebacate, ferric oxide yellow (E172), ferric oxide red (E172) and macrogol 6000.
See also Section 2 on ‘Important information about some of the ingredients of Asacol 400mg MR tablets’.
What Asacol 400mg MR tablets look like and contents of the pack
Asacol 400mg MR tablets are red-brown, coated and oblong shaped. They are packed in a plastic bottle with a child-resistant closure that contains a cotton/silica gel moisture absorbing pouch. Asacol 400mg MR tablets are available in packs of 84, 90, 120 or 168 tablets (not all pack sizes may be marketed).
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Getting more advice about ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s ileo-colitis
In addition to advice and information available from your doctor and pharmacist, you may wish to contact Crohn’s and Colitis UK for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease which offers information, advice and local support groups.
Crohn’s and Colitis UK
4 Beaumont House
Telephone Information Line:
0845 130 2233 (Monday to Friday 10am - 1pm)
Crohn’s and Colitis Support Line:
0845 130 3344 (Monday to Friday 1.00pm- 3.30pm / 6.30pm - 9pm)
Large print, braille, audio format leaflet
To obtain this leaflet in large print, braille or audio format, please call the following freephone number: 0800 198 5000.
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