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Sulfasalazine

Last updated on 25/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Sulphasalazine

ALTERNATIVE NAME: Sulphasalazine, SSZ

CHINESE NAME: 柳氮磺胺吡啶

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Salazopyrin 斯樂腸, Saridine-E, Zopyrin

DRUG CLASS: Gastrointestinal drugs

SUB CLASS: Aminosalicylates, Sulfonamides

USED FOR: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Rheumatoid Arthritis

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 500mg (tablets)

What is Sulfasalazine for?

It reduces inflammation in the large intestine for treating inflammatory bowel disease, particularly ulcerative colitis. It also slows down the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

How to use it?

Sulfasalazine is available in tablets for oral use. The tablet should be swallowed as a whole. Do not chew or divide the tablet. It should be taken in evenly divided doses, preferably after meals.

Ulcerative colitis
Adult and elderly
Upon acute attack, 1-2 g 4 times daily until remission, possibly together with corticosteroids. Upon remission, 2000 mg daily in divided doses. Adjust dose based on the condition, body response and tolerability.

Children above 2 years of age
Upon acute attack, 40-60 mg/kg in divided doses until remission, possibly together with corticosteroids. Upon remission, 20-30 mg/kg daily in divided doses. Adjust dose based on the condition, body response and tolerability.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Adult and elderly
Take 500 mg daily, then step up by 500 mg weekly up to 2-3 g daily in 2-4 divided doses.

Children above 6 years of age
30-50 mg/kg daily in 2 divided doses, up to 2000 mg daily. Adjust dose in case of intolerance.

What are the side effects of Sulfasalazine?

Common side effects of Sulfasalazine include arthralgia, cough, dizziness,taste alteration,urine abnormalities and gastric discomfort. Myalgia, agranulocytosis and seizure are less likely to occur. 

Who should not take Sulfasalazine?

– People allergic to Sulfasalazine, its metabolites, sulfonamides, salicylates and any components of the formulation.
– Patient with intestinal or urinary obstruction.
– Patient with porphyria.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Kidney function liver function and complete blood count should be monitored regularly
– Some people may be allergic to salicylates, such as aspirin.
– Corticosteroid may be used together with Sulfasalazine when indicated for ulcerative colitis.

Common dosing schedule:
Sulfasalazine is to be taken in 2-4 evenly divided doses, preferably after meals.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Sulfasalazine may interact with:
– Cardiac glycosides, e.g. Digoxin, Digitoxin
– Lasmiditan
– Local anaesthetics, e.g. Lidocaine, Bupivacaine, Prilocaine
– Myelosuppressive agents, e.g. Methotrexate, Cyclophosphamide, Paclitaxel
– NSAIDs, e.g. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Sulfasalazine in Hong Kong? 

In Hong Kong, Sulfasalazine is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Sulfasalazine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.