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Factors affecting Asacol® dosage include the severity of the condition being treated, what medications the patient is taking and any existing medical conditions he has. The standard Asacol® dosage is two 400 mg tablets to be taken three times daily for six weeks. As the condition resolves or goes into remission, the healthcare provider may lower the Asacol® dosage to four tablets to be taken in separate dosages.
The standard Asacol® dosage is used to treat ulcerative colitis. The condition can cause severe abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, pus, and blood in the stools. In addition, ulcerative colitis can cause fever, rectal pain, and weight loss. Sometimes, gastrointestinal bleeding, joint pain, and nausea and vomiting can occur as a result of ulcerative colitis.
When taking an Asacol® dosage, it is important to take the medicine at approximately the same time every day so that a steady level of the medication can be maintained in the bloodstream. In addition, since this medications is a delayed-release medication containing a special coating, it should never be crushed, chewed, or cut. Doing so may release too much of the medication into the bloodstream.
The usual Asacol® dosage is generally tolerated by most people taking it, however, it can produce side effects. These side effects may include abdominal pain, excessive belching, vomiting, and back pain. In addition, Asacol® may also cause constipation, migraine headaches, and acne. In certain cases, this medication can even worsen ulcerative colitis symptoms and even increase the risk of depression, gout, and liver problems.
People who are unable to tolerate the side effects of Asacol® should discuss alternative treatment plans with their healthcare providers. Other treatments for ulcerative colitis include taking corticosteroids and managing symptoms with anti-diarrhea medications and pain relievers. Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed when bacterial infections are present. Although ulcerative colitis can go into remission, hospitalization and surgery are sometimes recommended to manage severe symptoms.
Rarely, Asacol® can cause an allergic reaction, causing hives, rash, and itching. In addition, a severe allergic reaction to Asacol® can cause wheezing, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and chest pain. When these symptoms occur, the patient needs to seek emergency medical attention to reduce the risk of shock, organ failure, or respiratory arrest. The effects of Asacol® on pregnant women has not been studied, though it does not appear to be dangerous.