5-AMINOSALICYLIC ACID DERIVATIVE
Azulfidine is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ulcerative colitis. Azulfidine is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Azulfidine can reduce joint damage and disability. Azulfidine is also referred to by its drug name, sulfasalazine.
Azulfidine is a combination of two drugs: salicylic acid (the active ingredient in aAspirin) and sulfapyridine (a sulfa-based antibiotic). Azulfidine is classified as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). The exact mechanism of action of Azulfidine is unknown, but it is believed to work by reducing the levels of pro-inflammatory substances in the body.
Azulfidine is not appropriate for people with porphyria, intestinal or urinary blockages, or sensitivities to related classes of drugs, including sulfonamides and salicylates. Azulfidine should be used with caution by people with a history of liver or kidney problems, severe allergies, bronchial asthma, or blood dyscrasias.
How do I take it?
Prescribing information states that Azulfidine is taken orally as a tablet.Your doctor may order regular complete blood count (CBC) and liver function tests before you begin taking Azulfidine and regularly during the time you are taking it.
The FDA-approved label for Azulfidine lists common side effects including loss of appetite, headache, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and apparently reversible low sperm cell counts.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Azulfidine include liver damage that can lead to liver failure, kidney damage, serious infections, nerve damage, hearing loss, jaundice, low blood cell counts, lung disease, and a potentially fatal skin reaction known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience signs of liver problems, such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, bruising easily, pain or swelling in the abdomen, black stools, or vomit that contains blood or what looks like coffee grounds.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Azulfidine — Pfizer
Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) — Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center