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Buy Pentasa Online

A prescription is required for this item.
No generic alternative is available at this time.
BRAND LISTING - Pentasa (5-Aminosalicylic Acid)
Dosage Pack Size & Price Qty
Product description medically reviewed by Dr. Ami Patel, PharmD (Apr 16, 2020)

What is Pentasa?

Pentasa is an oral prescription medication used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease as well as proctitis. It's available as a pill and in non-oral forms such as rectal foam, enema, or suppository.

The active ingredient of Pentasa is Mesalamine, an anti-inflammatory agent related to aspirin. Mesalamine belongs to a class of drugs known as aminosalicylates. Doctors prescribe these anti-inflammatory agents to treat inflammatory bowel disease and some forms of arthritis. Aminosalicylates reduce the body's inflammatory response by inhibiting the production of certain substances, including prostaglandins (hormones created at the site of tissue damage or infection). By decreasing inflammation, Pentasa relieves painful symptoms and allows healing.

Drugs similar to Pentasa include:

Conditions treated by Pentasa

Approximately 1.6 million Americans have inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis (UC) affects the large intestine and causes long-lasting inflammation and sores in the digestive tract. UC symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Rectal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool

Doctors don't know the cause of UC, although they suspect genetics may play a role. Researchers have also linked UC to an overactive immune response. Diet and stress don't cause UC but may aggravate symptoms. In addition to prescribing Pentasa to manage UC symptoms, your doctor may suggest you avoid stress and foods that trigger your symptoms. It may also be helpful to steam or bake fruits and vegetables rather than eating them raw.

Crohn's disease is another chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. It may develop anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract but most commonly occurs at the end of the small intestine. Crohn's disease symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in the stool
  • Weight loss

In addition to prescribing an anti-inflammatory medication such as Pentasa for Crohn's disease, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as exercise and a healthy diet as well as an over-the-counter antidiarrheal medicine.

Your doctor may also prescribe Pentasa to treat proctitis, inflammation of the lining of the rectum. About 30 percent of patients with inflammatory bowel disease develop short-lived or chronic proctitis. Symptoms include:

  • Rectal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • The continuous sensation of needing to have a bowel movement

What to know before using Pentasa

Before using Pentasa, keep the following in mind.

  • physician

    Share your complete medical history with your doctor. Be sure to mention if you've had a history of kidney disease, liver disease, or stomach blockage such as pyloric stenosis.

  • stroller

    Discuss the safety of taking Pentasa if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • prescription

    Provide your doctor with a list of the over-the-counter and prescription drugs you take, including vitamin and dietary supplements.

  • rash

    Tell your doctor if you have a pre-existing skin condition, such as atopic dermatitis. Pentasa may make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

  • kidney

    Do not take Pentasa if you have impaired kidney function. Your doctor may do regular blood tests to check your kidney function while you take it.

Possible side effects of Pentasa

Pentasa side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
    Abdominal Pain
  • Rash
  • Loss of appetite
    Loss of appetite

This is not a complete list of side effects for Pentasa. If these or any other side effects occur, consult your doctor immediately.

Pentasa FAQs

What is Pentasa used for?

Pentasa reduces inflammation of the intestinal tract in patients with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and proctitis.

Is there a generic version of Pentasa?

No, a therapeutically equivalent version of Pentasa is not available in North America.

What is the proper Pentasa dosage?

Your doctor will prescribe oral Pentasa medication in 250 mg or 500 mg capsules and tell you when and how often to take it. Usually, the recommended dosage for 250 mg pills is four capsules, four times daily, and the recommended dosage for 500 mg pills is two capsules, four times daily. The dose may vary depending on whether you have a short-term or chronic condition. Your doctor will explain when and how to administer non-oral forms of Pentasa.

What is the proper way to store Pentasa?

Store Pentasa at room temperature. It keeps best at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, although it can withstand temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep it out of direct exposure to cold, heat, moisture, or sunlight and away from pets and children. If you need to dispose of Pentasa, consult a pharmacist for proper instructions.

Are there any Pentasa drug interactions?

Occasionally, Pentasa can cause kidney problems. Thus, your doctor may suggest you avoid taking it at the same time as other medications that affect the kidneys, including ibuprofen and naproxen. Pentasa may also increase the effects of other medications, such as azathioprine and mercaptopurine. Talk to your doctor about potential interactions with the medications and supplements you take.

The information provided on the website is intended to facilitate awareness about healthcare products and medical conditions generally but it is not a substitute for professional medical attention or advice. You should always speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking any prescription or non-prescription drug.