Mesalazine is an anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat ulcerative colitis and to prevent further episodes of Crohn’s disease.

Why have I been prescribed Mesalazine?

Mesalazine is an anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat ulcerative colitis and to prevent further episodes of Crohn’s disease.

How does it work?

Mesalazine acts locally at the inflamed sites to reduce the inflammation.

When and how do I take it?

  • Your doctor may tell you to take the tablets at different times, e. g. morning, midday or evening.
  • Mesalazine should be taken one hour before a meal. Because it works inside the bowel, the time at which you take your medicine with respect to your meals is important.
  • Swallow your tablets whole with a glass of water. Do not chew, crush or break your tablets.
  • There have been a few reports of intact tablets in stool. What appear to be intact tablets may sometimes be the remains of the tablet coating. If you often observe tablets or tablet shells in the stool, you should consult your doctor.

What’s the dose?

Always take Mesalazine exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. Your doctor will establish an appropriate dose for you individually according to your condition. The maximum daily dose is 4000 mg in divided doses.

Your doctor will tell you how many tablets you should take and how often. Do not take more than 5 x 800 mg tablets or 10 x 400 mg tablets per day.

The usual dose for adults is:

To treat ulcerative colitis:

  • 2400 mg mesalazine per day in divided doses. If required this can be increased to 4000 mg per day.

To prevent an episode of ulcerative colitis:

  • 1200–2400 mg mesalazine per day, in divided doses.

To prevent an episode of Crohn’s disease:

  • 2400 mg per day, in divided doses.

These can be taken as various combinations of tablets, for example:

  • 1200 mg = 3 x 400 mg tablets
  • 1600 mg = 4 x 400 mg tablets or 2 x 800 mg tablets
  • 2400 mg = 6 x 400 mg tablets or 3 x 800 mg tablets
  • 4000 mg = 10 x 400 mg tablets or 5 x 800 mg tablets

Could it interact with other tablets?

Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without prescription.
Examples of drugs that may affect, or be affected by, Mesalazine are:

  • Drugs that reduce inflammation or pain (pain killers)
  • Drugs that reduce the activity of the immune system (e.g. azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine)
  • Anti-cancer drugs (e.g. methotrexate)
  • Drugs that prevent the formation of blood clots (anticoagulants, e.g. warfarin).

Herbal products should also only be taken after talking with your doctor.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Like all medicines, Mesalazine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Stop taking Mesalazine immediately and tell your doctor if you bruise easily, or if you suffer from:

  • any unexplained bleeding (e.g. nosebleeds)
  • bleeding under your skin
  • purple spots under your skin
  • sore throat
  • persistent fever

Your doctor may need to take a blood test.

Less serious side effects:

Very common:


  • skin rash
  • feeling dizzy (dizziness)
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • joint pain (arthralgia)
  • drug fever (fever that occurs while taking the medicine and which disappears when the medicine is stopped)


  • buzzing, ringing or whistling in the ears (tinnitus)
  • feeling of pins and needles (paresthesia)
  • flatulence
  • itching skin (pruritus)
  • hives (urticaria)
  • muscle pain (myalgia)
  • no drug effect

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

There are no known interactions between alcohol and Mesalazine.

Always ask you doctor or pharmacist however as other medications you are taking may have a bearing on this.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

You should tell your doctor, if you

  • are pregnant
  • think you could be pregnant
  • plan to become pregnant
  • are breast-feeding.

Your doctor will decide if you should use Mesalazine.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.

If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.