View Full Version : Taking asacol for colitis

10-09-2004, 09:01 PM
Hi everyone ,
I was just diagnosed with colitis a few months ago.
My doc has me on 800mg 3 times a day. I am 150 pounds and 5'7...
I have a hard time swallowing these pills. So my doc says to crush them up into apple sauce. Does anyone else do this...
I can only manage to take the 800mg twice a day because I find it hard to get up in the middle of the night to take the 3rd dose.
I'm also concerned about the asacol sideaffect.
I am experiencing Tiredness, Drymouth, diarrhea, Gas, Bloating.
What type of sideaffects are you experiencing ??
I also beleive I have an anal fissure. I have never seen one so I'm not sure if that is what I have.
But, It can be very painfull when I have a BM. I feels as if my rectum is tearing in two. And I can see a small rip in the skin and it bleeds for a few seconds. and then its sore for the rest of the day...
Is any one else experiencing any of this ???
No one in my family can understand what I going thru.
Thanks for reading
♣ Sidney

10-10-2004, 01:46 PM

YIKES!!! The Asacol is NOT to be crushed. By colitis, I'm assuming you're meaning ulcerative colitis? Where in the bowel is your disease?

As far as the dosaging...Asacol is 400mg each pill. So, you're taking 2 x 3, right? That's a total of 6 daily. I'm taking 6 daily, but take 3 twice daily. That's an option for you. You don't HAVE to take them 3 times....I can't work it out that way either...my doc said no problem.

Asacol has a coating on it that allows the 5ASA med to be dissolved and applied into the colon. It can't happen if they're crushed and the med's being dissolved in your stomach.

I think that's why you're having so many side effects.

As well, having UC causes some of the symptoms you're having as well.

Do you always have problems taking meds or vitamins? Do you have a problem swallowing food? Maybe you could take a large gulp of water with the pills in your mouth so that your throat will open up enough and have enough "slip" to go down.

DO NOT crush them, it won't help your UC!

Another option is to use the rectal meds such as Salofalk or Rowasa retention enemas.

What symptoms of UC are you having at this time?

It does sound as though you're also suffering from an anal fissure (I have one as well). Frequent bms as well as the constant wiping can inflame them. As well, because UC starts at the anus, having inflammation there can exacerbate the fissure symptoms. UC in a flare also causes rectal pain upon evacuation, and that pain can be felt throughout the day as well. It's a lousy situation for sure....and the only way to deal with it is to treat each symptoms as they crop up.

You might ask your doctor for a prescription of Proctocetyl ointment/cream.....or, you can go to your pharmacy and purchase a tube of hydrocortisone cream and apply it to the anus/fissure area after washing.
There are also cloths that can also help sooth and clean the area after a bm....such as Tucks or PReparation H cloths. Then apply the hydrocortisone cream.


10-10-2004, 07:10 PM
My doc told me I have proctitis if I'm spelling that correctly :)
He said that the colitis is in the lower bowels and thats why he said Its proctitis..

I went to him about not being able to swallow the pills. and he said o-well just crush them. I can swallow pills such as my Allegra. because there small. but the asacol is to hard. I've tried water, PoP, Juice Nothing helps.
You would think that sense the he diagnosed me with proctitis that I could use a rectal med's.....
I do have a question... I am getting confused with all this info I am reading on the internet about colitis.
My doc said I have colitis(Proctitis). But is this the same thing as UC..
I know that with UC you have ulcers.
But can you have just colitis without ulcer and than it would just be called colitis.
I'm sorry if this is confusing but I am so confused.
My doctor gave me NO information. He just gave me the pills and said come back in 6 months for another sigmoidoscope...
When I did have my first sigmoid He said he found a polyp.. He said he wants to check it to see if it grows.
The stress of school is not helping with the colitis either :) What the heck was I thinkign taking 12 credits LOL
Thanks for listening and helping me out
Sid ♪

10-11-2004, 02:17 AM

Your posting isn't confusing. It's confusing to have a chronic life-long disease with no information from the doctor. No less....a doctor who tells you to crush pills that shouldn't....BY NO MEANS..be crushed!!!!

Asacol is an expensive medication. Why waste it?? As well, you should ask for rectal meds..the suppositories or retention enemas.

What country do you live in? I'm asking because not all countries have all brand names.

"Colitis" is a term meaning inflammation of the colon. Ulcerative colitis is a specific bowel disease. Proctitis is UC. It's UC in the rectum. Proctosigmoiditis is UC in the rectum/sigmoid (I have that). So, yes, you do have UC....

The reason for taking Asacol orally is to treat and keep the inflammation down so that it doesn't spread upward into the other parts of the colon. How you're taking it won't help down where yours is.

When you ask about the ulcers....in UC, it means that the lining of the colon is raw, open and bleeding. That area of the mucosal lining is "opened", inflammed and bleeds easily. It would look red, raw and "angry". The places where it's bleeding are the ulcerations. It's not like a stomach ulcer, or an ulcer in the mouth. They aren't related..... If you had Crohn's...it's possible that the ulcerations in those areas could be CD because CD can happen anywhere from the anus to the mouth, where UC is only in the colon and starts at the anus.

I don't know much about polyps, but I've always heard that they are usually removed and tested. Are you scheduled to have a colonoscopy done?
Is your doctor a gastroenterologist?

If you have any other questions...I can try and answer them, or find out info for you.

I was diagnosed well over 15 years ago. My doctor was very helpful in answering questions for me.....plus, I got books from the library and checked out the bookstores. I had bad symptoms (bloody diarrhea 15 times a day) and had lost a lot of weight. I learned how the meds worked best for me, but it was through much trial and error. As well, I learned how to recognise early symptoms of flares and how to use my meds effectively by increasing and decreasing.

I would suggest...VERY strongly that you work at swallowing your pills. This is a life-long disease, your medications are important, and the goal is to use your meds effectively. The 5ASA meds are the best we have at this time (if one has no allergic reactions or intolerances to it).

The asacol isn't a big pill. As well, the coating is very slippery. So, hmmm, what could I suggest for you? I take a handful of my meds plus all my vitamins....sometimes equaling 12 pills at a time.

How about when you're eating, to slip one in with already chewed food when you're ready to swallow? Maybe add a but of water with the food and swallow it all? That might get your throat to open up better...

Have you had that problem all your life...or has it just recently started? It could be stress related, or even reflux related.

Please don't misunderstand my forwardness or all my suggestions. I'm truly concerned that your doctor has told you to crush your meds. If you can't take them, then please call (don't waiT), make another appointment and get rectal 5ASA meds. They're not the most pleasant to use either, but they work well. I would suggest you avoid prednisone forever if you could (won't get into that at this time).

Learn as much about UC as possible. Learn about all the possible meds that are prescribed. Not all doctors use the best meds for each patient. You have a right to be proactive in your care, and that means asking your doctor a lot of questions. Some patients eventually realise their doctor isn't the best for them and seek out another. But, working with one's doctor is definitely a good goal for proper care.

I hope you feel better soon, You sure DO have an academic load this year! WOW!! You're correct in saying that stress doesn't help....but with proper med regimen it's at least a way to get through the rough times.

Best to you,

10-11-2004, 08:48 PM
Hi Quincy,
I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to help me out with my questions.
I live in Michigan, so yes I can get name brand & Genearic(Spelling)..
My doc is a family physician. Not a gastro specialist.. I have HAP insurance. So as far as my doctor willing to give me a referral to see a specialist are one in a million..
He would rather treat me himself.
As far as the medication issue i have. I have always have a hard time swallowing pills.
I even have to eat small amounts of food too, Because its hard to swallow alot at one time. Its also painfull when I swallow to much. My doc said it could be a combination of the GERD & A strong reflex..
I am planing on making an appointment with my doc and talking to him about my concerns with crushing the Asacol. and to see if there are alternative med's that are smaller that I could try out. Or even just taking rectal med's instead of oral.
The rectal med's just might help me because I feel I have a mild case of colitis because on some days can go to bathroom 3-5 times or on other days I wont use the bathroom for 3 days.
I have the symptoms such as Aching bone & Muscles, I'm tired alot., Lower back aches, bloated stomach... But as far as my BM.. I have constipation and than diarrhea.. Sometimes i can go 5 days without using the bathroom...
An dthan other times I get diarrhea or loose Bm. Its all unpredictable..
I will be going to the library and getting books on UC to educate myself better.
I will also be looking into better ways on how to get my fiber in my diet.
I have also started changing my diet. I stay away from fast food. I have been adding romane salad's to my dinners. I pack myself a lunch for school for I dont have to eat the greasy junk they serve.
and I hope with time it will start to show that its making a differnce :)
I want to have control of colitis and not it have control over me !!!

So again I thank you for taking the time to help me with better understanding this disease. YOu have been more help to me than my own doctor.
Have a great week

10-11-2004, 10:42 PM
I think you need to be treated with this very serious problem by a Gastro Specialist!!!