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A doctor may prescribe Colazal or Balsalazide Disodium generic to those five years of age and older to treat mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis (UC). This condition involves inflammation of the lining of the colon that can cause abdominal cramping, weight loss, frequent bouts of diarrhea or loose stool and can greatly inhibit your ability to enjoy daily outings, socializing, travel, and cause you lost time from school or work. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Colazal remains inactive until it reaches your colon. At that time bacterial enzymes split the Colazal molecule and the medication is released and is converted into mesalamine, an effective anti-inflammatory drug. It blocks the enzymes responsible for producing prostaglandins in your colon, which are the inflammatory chemicals that your immune system signals when it believes there is a threat. However, ulcerative colitis is believed to be an autoimmune disease so these signals are usually sent in error causing your own tissues to come under attack. The result is an inflamed colon, rectal bleeding, and painful stomach cramps.
Ulcerative colitis, unlike Crohn’s disease, is only located in the colon, usually beginning with the rectum. The inflammation occurs in the innermost lining of your intestinal wall in a continuous stretch while Crohn’s disease can cause inflamed patches throughout. Doctors are unsure of the exact causes of UC, although they do believe that it involves problems with the immune system.
One of the main concerns for those with children with UC is the possibility for nutritional deficiencies. Poor food absorption or not enough calories taken in from their diet on a daily basis can create other problems, such as anemia or delayed growth. Colazal can help put ulcerative colitis into remission to enable a full and healthier lifestyle.
Tell your doctor before taking Colazal if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding as some medications can be harmful for unborn or nursing babies. Discuss other medical conditions and allergies you have with your doctor and list any OTC or Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements. This allows your doctor to determine if Colazal is the right medicine for you.
Colazal (also called Colazide) is only recommended as a short-term drug treatment. You should start to notice an improvement in your symptoms after three to four weeks and treatment is usually no longer than eight to twelve weeks. Ask your doctor about any beverage or food restrictions while taking Colazal. Do not start any new medication or stop current medication without talking to your doctor first as any changes could alter how Colazal works in your body.