( sulfasalazine )
500 mg orange, film-coated tablet
To reduce inflammation and to
retard disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis and some
other forms of synovitis.
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
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.
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.