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Azulfidine

( sulfasalazine )
 

500 mg orange, film-coated tablet


Purpose

To reduce inflammation and to retard disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Indications

Rheumatoid arthritis and some other forms of synovitis.


Dosage

Three or four 500 mg tablets daily, taken as two or three doses over the day. Dosage may be increased to as many as six 500 mg tablets, usually taken as two tablets three times daily.


Side effects

This is a sulfa drug, and should not be taken by people with an allergy to sulfa. Allergy is unusual, and may take the form of a rash, wheezing, itching, fever, or jaundice. Azulfidine may cause gastric distress or other side effects in some patients. Blood tests should be done every so often to detect any ( rare ) effects on the blood cells or platelets. Most people, probably four out of five, experience no trouble whatsoever.

 

Special hints

Azulfidine is used in patients with inflammatory problems with the bowels, where it reduces the inflammation, at least in part because of an antibiotic effect on the bacteria that live in the bowel. Recently, British scientists have found that it has a major effect on rheumatoid arthritis, and this has been confirmed by investigators in the United States. No one knows how it works, but it is very effective in some patients. it takes a month or more before the effects begin to be noticed, and full effects may take three or more months. Usually if you are not going to tolerate the drug, you will know in a week or so.

         
         

     

         

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