What should I know about Lialda before taking it?

Before taking Lialda (mesalamine) for ulcerative colitis, you should know that some people have a serious allergic reaction to the drug. Tell your doctor if you've ever had an allergic reaction to any drug with mesalamine (the active ingredient in Lialda), or to the drug sulfasalazine or any of the drugs known as salicylates.

Give your doctor a list of all prescription or nonprescription drugs, herbal remedies, or supplements that you take. Some drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, can cause serious side effects when taken with Lialda.

Lialda should not be taken with azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine, because the combination can lead to a blood disorder.

You and your doctor will have to weigh the benefits of the drug to you against the potential for harm to a developing fetus if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Animal studies indicate Lialda is not harmful to a developing fetus, but human studies are lacking.

Although the drug does enter breast milk, it's not known how that might affect a breastfeeding baby. You and your doctor should discuss whether or not you should wean your baby before taking Lialda.

Occasionally people taking Lialda may have worsening symptoms of ulcerative colitis. If your discomfort becomes worse or new problems arise, call your doctor promptly. You may be unable to tolerate the drug.

You need to know that the tablet must be taken whole, not chewed, crushed or cut.

If you are 65 years old or older, your doctor may not prescribe Lialda, because the drug might be more likely to make you develop a blood disorder. If he or she does prescribe it, periodic blood tests are necessary to monitor your health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.