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Drug Information

What is Sulphasalazine used for?

Sulphasalazine is used for the treatment of Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis in adults and juvenile arthritis. It is also used to treat the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, such as fever, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and diarrhoea.

Sulphasalazine may also be prescribed for other conditions as determined by the doctor.

How does Sulphasalazine work?

Sulphasalazine belongs to the class of drugs called as the aminosalicylates. The exact mechanism of Sulphasalazine is not known. This drug is broken down in the colon by the bacteria into sulphapyridine and 5-aminosalicylic acid and exhibits the anti-inflammatory action.

How to use Sulphasalazine?

The dosage and the drug form depend on the age, weight and medical condition of an individual. Use Sulphasalazine as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew the tablet. Take the drug with or without food. However, taking the drug with food prevents stomach upset.
  • Sulphasalazine paste should be applied as a thin layer over the affected area.

If you miss a dose of Sulphasalazine, please use it immediately once you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

What are the drugs that interact with Sulphasalazine?

Drugs that interact with Sulphasalazine include the following:

  • Adefovir
  • Cidofovir
  • Cyclosporine
  • Lidocaine
  • Methenamine
  • Sirolimus
  • Sodium bisphosphate
  • Tacrolimus
  • Warfarin

This is not a comprehensive list of drug interactions. Consult your doctor to know more about other possible drug interactions.

What are the side effects of Sulphasalazine?

The following are the most common side effects of Sulphasalazine tablet :

  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Dark urine

The following are the most common side effects of Sulphasalazine paste :

  • Skin rash
  • Blue coloured skin
  • Burning of the skin
  • Itching

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.

What special precautions should be followed while using Sulphasalazine?

  • Avoid using the medicine if you are allergic to Sulphasalazine or similar drugs.
  • Do not stop using the medication abruptly unless instructed by the doctor. Stopping the medication suddenly may cause the illness to return.
  • Do not exceed the dose more than what is prescribed.
  • Be cautious while using Sulphasalazine if you have any kidney or liver impairment.

You are advised not to use Sulphasalazine if

  • it has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
  • the foil or packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering or there is discolouration.

What should you tell your doctor before using Sulphasalazine?

  • Tell your doctor if you have any history of arthritis, kidney dysfunction and liver diseases.
  • Inform the doctor if you are taking any other drugs, OTC medications, herbal products or nutritional supplements.
  • Notify the doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions about Sulphasalazine

  1. What are the overdose symptoms of Sulphasalazine tablet?
  2. The overdose symptoms of Sulphasalazine include seizures, severe stomach pain, persistent vomiting and extreme drowsiness.

  3. Do I need to be monitored for any laboratory parameters while taking Sulphasalazine tablet?
  4. Yes, it is advised to monitor for laboratory parameters such as complete blood count, liver and kidney function tests while taking Sulphasalazine.

  5. What are the contraindications of Sulphasalazine tablet?
  6. Sulphasalazine is contraindicated in conditions, such as porphyria, asthma, and intestinal blockage.

  7. How should Sulphasalazine be stored?
  8. Sulphasalazine must be stored at room temperature (15 – 30OC), away from sunlight.


The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Please seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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