Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available



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  • Extended release
  • Enema
  • Suppository
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Treats inflammatory bowel disease.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our bottom line

Lialda (Mesalamine) is an effective first-line medicine for inflammatory bowel disease. There isn't a generic version and you'll have to take it multiple times a day.


  • Effective first-line medication for treating and lowering the symptoms of mild inflammatory bowel disease.
  • About half the people who have mild to moderate colon inflammation and take Lialda (Mesalamine) will see improvement.
  • Available in tablets, capsules, enemas, and suppositories.
  • Certain forms of Lialda (Mesalamine) can be used during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you're pregnant, or plan on becoming pregnant, and you want to take Lialda (Mesalamine).


  • No generic versions are available for the tablets, capsules, and suppositories (meaning it could be somewhat expensive).
  • Doesn't work well for severe colon inflammation.
  • You may need to take Lialda (Mesalamine) three or four times a day.
  • Not a good option if you have kidney disease.
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What to expect when you take Lialda (Mesalamine) for Ulcerative colitis

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Don't take Lialda (Mesalamine) if you're allergic to aspirin. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any drug allergies you have before starting Lialda (Mesalamine).
  • Taking antacids with Lialda (Mesalamine) can make your inflammation worse. Talk to your doctor before you make any changes.
  • You can sunburn more easily when taking Lialda (Mesalamine). Use sunscreen and protective clothing when you go outdoors.
  • Don't break, chew, or crush the tablets because they're coated and won't work as well.
  • The suppositories should be kept in for at least 1 to 3 hours to get the most benefit.
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Side effects for Lialda (Mesalamine)

From clinical trials of Asacol / Ulcerative colitis  ( 239)

  • HeadacheHeadache35% for Mesalamine vs.36% for placebo
  • Abdominal painAbdominal pain18% for Mesalamine vs.14% for placebo
  • EructationEructation16% for Mesalamine vs.15% for placebo
  • PainPain14% for Mesalamine vs.8% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea13% for Mesalamine vs.15% for placebo
  • Sore throatSore throat11% for Mesalamine vs.9% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness8% for Mesalamine vs.8% for placebo
  • Muscle weaknessMuscle weakness7% for Mesalamine vs.15% for placebo
  • Back painBack pain7% for Mesalamine vs.5% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea7% for Mesalamine vs.9% for placebo

Risks and Warnings for Lialda (Mesalamine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Asthma
    • Rhinitis
    • Nasal polyps
    • Aspirin allergy
    • NSAID allergy

    Rarely, Lialda (Mesalamine) can cause serious allergic reactions. These reactions can make it difficult to breathe or cause a severe rash that can be life-threatening. Stop taking Lialda (Mesalamine) and report any skin rash, fever, swelling, or trouble breathing to a doctor right away.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Lialda (Mesalamine)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • These tend to be very large pills, and you take a lot of them daily. Setting a reminder for when to take them, or 2 with each meal helps. Definitely worth the trouble.
  • Large pills that are not difficult to take. Take just before meals.
  • Best to take it all at once with your biggest meal of the day
Kidneys and liver
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Not a good option if you have kidney disease.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Lialda (Mesalamine) is broken down by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, talk to your doctor because you may need to take a different dose of the medication.