5ASA / 5-aminosalicylate medications

What are 5ASA / 5-aminosalicylate medications

Drugs taken to treat INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD), an autoimmune disorder that causes mild to severe INFLAMMATION and irritation to the COLON (bowel). People who have IBD typically experience alternating periods of exacerbation and REMISSION; in severe IBD the symptoms are often debilitating. The aminosalicylates, or 5ASAs, appear to work by suppressing the local IMMUNE RESPONSE in the mucosal lining of the SMALL INTESTINE and COLON.

Though researchers do not fully understand what causes IBD, they do know there are high levels of LEUKOTRIENES and PROSTAGLANDINS in the BLOOD circulation when IBD flares up. Researchers believe the 5ASA medications block these biochemicals from release, thus inhibiting inflammation. These drugs may also block the actions of TUMOR NECROSIS FACTORS (TNFS), CYTOKINES that also participate in the inflammatory response.

balsalazide (Colazal) olsalazine (Dipentum)
mesalamine (Asacol, Canasa, Pentasa, Rowasa)
sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)

The 5ASAs are most effective when administered via rectal suppository or ENEMA, or by absorption-delayed oral medications (drugs that are specially coated to dissolve in the SMALL INTESTINE rather than the STOMACH) as these ROUTES OF ADMINISTRATION deliver the drug directly to the involved tissues. Pharmacologically, the 5ASAs are similar to aspirin. The most common side effects include HEADACHE, NAUSEA, and RASH (which occur most frequently with sulfasalazine and not so much with the other 5ASAs). The 5ASAs are effective for treating symptoms during exacerbations as well as for extending remission (preventing symptoms from reemerging).


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Immune system / Allergies

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