Medical Services Patients & Visitors Health Information For Medical Professionals Quality About Us
Text Size:  -   +  |  Print Page  |  Email Page

Sulfasalazine (By mouth)

Sulfasalazine (sul-fa-SAL-a-zeen)

Treats ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. This medicine is a sulfa drug.

Brand Name(s):

Azulfidine, Azulfidine Entabs, Sulfazine, Sulfazine EC

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to sulfasalazine, sulfa drugs, or any salicylate medicine. Do not use this medicine if you have porphyria.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Coated Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • It is best to take this medicine after meals, at evenly spaced times throughout the day and night. Try not to let more than 8 hours go by between doses, even at night.
  • Coated tablet: Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Drink extra fluids so you will urinate more often and help prevent kidney problems.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • If you are using this medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, it may take 4 to 12 weeks before you start feeling better.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using digoxin or a folic acid supplement.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or other digestion problems. Tell your doctor if you have trouble urinating, asthma, blood or bone marrow problems, or an enzyme problem called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
  • This medicine may decrease the amount of sperm a man makes and affect his ability to have children while using this medicine. If you are a man who plans to have children, talk with your doctor first.
  • This medicine has been associated with the following problems.
    • Severe allergic reactions, especially skin reactions
    • Liver damage
    • Severe anemia or other blood disorders
  • Your skin or urine may turn orange or yellow while you are using this medicine. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever, sore throat, pale skin
  • Severe rash or sores, especially with fever
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in your neck, armpit, or groin
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache or dizziness
  • Mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or stomach pain (for more than a few days)
  • Mild rash

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 7/4/2014


The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
Copyright © 1984- Truven Health Analytics. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M
A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.