Pentasa comes as a delayed release capsule which should be swallowed whole or can also be opened and the contents mixed with a wet food such as apple sauce, yogurt, ice cream, etc. It should never be crushed. The dose of Pentasa is based on weight and your doctor will instruct you in the proper amount you should take. While most people improve once they have started to take Pentasa, it may be several weeks before the full effect is seen.
Are there any special precautions when I take Pentasa?
- You should let you doctor know if you are allergic to mesalamine, balsalazide (Colazal); olsalazine (Dipentum); salicylate pain relievers such as aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate, choline salicylate (Arthropan), diflunisal (Dolobid), magnesium salicylate (Doan's, others), and salsalate; sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications including over the counter medications, supplements, vitamins, fish oil, etc. It is important that you mention any of the following: aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn
- Some individuals taking Pentasa may get headaches, nausea, vomiting, or rash. If any of these occur you should notify your doctor
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas), pericarditis (swelling of the sac around the heart), or liver or kidney disease. About 2% of people taking Pentasa or any similar medication may develop pancreatitis which often presents with severe abdominal pain and vomiting. If this occurs your doctor will check a special blood test. If you develop pancreatitis then you will not be able to take this class of medication. Routine blood tests will monitor your pancreas, liver, and kidneys during the treatment of ulcerative colitis. A urinalysis will also be checked once or twice yearly if you are taking mesalamine.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking or using mesalamine, call your doctor.
- On rare occasions Pentasa may cause worsening of your ulcerative colitis. This is called a paradoxical reaction and it is not clear why it occurs. You should always notify your doctor if your symptoms are getting worse.
Do I need to follow any special diet when I am taking Pentasa?
- Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
- Take or use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take or use a double dose to make up for a missed one.