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Colazal (Generic Balsalazide)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Balsalazide is used to treat ulcerative colitis in adults and children 5 years of age and older. Ulcerative colitis is a condition that results in swelling and ulcers in the lining of the colon (large intestine) and rectum. An anti-inflammatory medication is balsalazide. It reduces colon inflammation, diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, and stomach pain by turning into mesalamine in the body.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this drug for any other conditions.

How should this medicine be used?

Balsalazide is available as a pill to swallow. Typically, it is taken three times each day. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Balsalazide should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Balsalazide can be taken for up to 12 weeks but is typically taken for 8 weeks. Balsalazide should still be taken even if you feel OK. Without first consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking balsalazide.

The capsules should be swallowed whole; do not break, chew, or crush them. When administering this medication to a child or if you are unable to take the capsules, you may open the capsules and sprinkle the contents over 2 teaspoonfuls (or 10 mL) of applesauce. Consume the combination right away and swallow it; you can chew the mixture if necessary. You should be aware that your teeth and tongue may become discoloured if you take balsalazide capsules mixed with applesauce.

Other uses for this medicine

Other prescriptions for this drug are possible. For more information, consult your physician or pharmacist.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking balsalazide,

  • Aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate, choline salicylate, diflunisal, magnesium salicylate (Doan’s, others), mesalamine (Apriso, Pentasa, Rowasa), salsalate, sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in balsalazide capsules should not be taken if you are allergic to balsalazi Get a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Mention any of the following: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen, and azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran), as well as mercaptopurine (Purixan) (Aleve, Naprosyn). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had any skin conditions, such as pyloric stenosis, kidney stones, liver illness, or eczema (atopic dermatitis, a skin disorder that causes the skin to be dry, itchy, and occasionally produce red, scaly rashes) (a condition in which the stomach empties slowly).
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking balsalazide.
  • Plan to use protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen as well as to minimise excessive or prolonged sun exposure. Your skin could become photosensitive if you take balsalazide.
  • You should be aware that a significant reaction to balsalazide is possible. It may be challenging to distinguish between a reaction to the medicine and a flare-up (episode of symptoms) of your disease because many of the symptoms of this reaction are similar to those of ulcerative colitis. If you suffer any or all of the following signs, contact your doctor right away: stomach cramps, rash, fever, headache, or bloody diarrhoea.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

There may be balsalazide side effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Headache
  • Abdomen ache
  • Uneasy stomach
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscular or joint ache
  • Trouble sleeping or staying asleep
  • Tiredness
  • Gas
  • Clogged nose
  • Coughing
  • Reduced appetite
  • Constipation
  • Mouth ache

The following symptoms, as well as those in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, should be reported to your doctor right away, or you should seek emergency medical attention:

  • Hives, a rash, itchy, blistering, or peeling skin
  • Enlargement of the mouth, throat, lips, tongue, eyes, or other body parts
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • New or intensifying cough
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest ache
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
  • Stomach ache in the right upper portion
  • Light stools
  • Urination that is difficult, painful, hazy, discoloured, or bloody
  • Back ache
  • Having a bloated or swollen stomach
  • Heightened diarrhoea
  • Abdominal bleeding
  • Signs of the flu, such as a fever or a sore throat

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose signs could include the following:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and discomfort in the abdomen
  • Shallow or rapid breathing
  • Hearing ring
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Seizures

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how you are responding to balsalazide, your doctor may request specific lab tests. Inform the lab staff that you take balsalazide before you undergo any testing, as this medicine may affect the results of some tests.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Colazal®
  • Giazo®
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