DISEASE-MODIFYING ANTI-RHEUMATIC DRUG (DMARD)
Azulfidine, also known by its drug name, Sulfasalazine, is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1950. It is prescribed to decrease pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Azulfidine may also help prevent joint damage and disability.
Azulfidine is not appropriate for people with porphyria, intestinal or urinary blockages, or sensitivities to related classes of drugs including sulfonamides or salicylates. Azulfidine should be used with caution by people who have a history of liver or kidney problems, severe allergies, bronchial asthma, or blood dyscrasias.
Azulfidine is a combination of two drugs, salicylic acid (the active ingredient in Aspirin) and sulfapyridine (a sulfa-based antibiotic). Azulfidine is classified as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). Azulfidine is believed to work by reducing the amount of several pro-inflammatory substances in the body.
How do I take it?
Azulfidine is taken orally in tablet form one or more times daily with meals. Swallow the tablets whole; do not crush or chew them. Take Azulfidine with food and a full glass of water to help prevent stomach upset.
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 Azulfidine.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Azulfidine.
In a study published in 1983, 90 people with active rheumatoid arthritis were treated with Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) for six months. At the end of the study, the condition of those who took Sulfasalazine had significantly improved.
Common side effects of Azulfidine include nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, loss of appetite, sores in the mouth, unusual fatigue, headache, and dizziness.
Tell your doctor if you serious side effects such as pain during urination, less frequent or no urination, ringing in the ears, finding a whole tablet of Azulfidine in your stool, chest pain, a blistering or peeling rash, or flu symptoms such as fever and sore throat.
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.
Azulfidine can cause serious liver and kidney problems, blood disorders, and central nervous system problems including meningitis and convulsions.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions which, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.