Octasa/Mesalazine

Octasa is a prescription anti-inflammatory medicine used for gastrointestinal disorders. It contains the active ingredient, mesalazine (belonging to the aminosalicylate ...

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When were you last prescribed this item?
When did you last have a review of this medication with your normal doctor?
When were you diagnosed as suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
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Octasa is a prescription anti-inflammatory medicine used for gastrointestinal disorders. It contains the active ingredient, mesalazine (belonging to the aminosalicylate class of drugs). Octasa also contains for following clinically inactive excipients; lactose monohydrate, sodium starch glycolate (Type A), magnesium stearate, talc E553b, povidone E1201, methacrylic acid – methyl methacrylate copolymer (1:2), triethyl citrate, iron oxides E172, macrogol 6000. Mesalazine is thought to relieve inflammation in the intestine by disrupting the enzyme cyclooxygenase and decreasing the production of prostaglandins (inflammation) in the intestinal wall.

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What is Mesalazine?

Octasa tablets are prescribed to help reduce the frequency of flare ups caused by ulcerative colitis and Chrohn’s. These inflammatory bowel conditions cause inflammation of the intestinal wall and many small tears in its surface (ulcers) that may result in bleeding. Octasa helps to reduce this inflammation and the painful symptoms that result from it.

How does it work?

Mesalazine is the active component of sulfasalazine, used for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The therapeutic action of mesalazine is thought to be due to the local effect it has on inflamed intestinal tissue. Evidence suggests that the severity of colonic inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis treated with mesalazine is inversely correlated with mucosa concentrations of mesalazine. In inflammatory bowel disease, there is an increase in the migration of leukocytes, an abnormal production of cytokines, an increase in the production of metabolites of arachidonic acid, particularly leukotriene B4, and an increase in the formation of free radicals in the inflamed intestinal tissue. The mechanism of action of mesalazine is not fully understood although mechanisms such as activation of the γ-form of peroxisome proliferation-activating receptors (PPAR-γ) and inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) of the mucosa are involved. Mesalazine has been shown to have a pharmacological effect both in vivo and in vitro that inhibit leukocyte chemotaxis, decrease cytokines and leukotriene formation, and eliminate free radical formation. It is unknown which of these mechanisms has a role in the clinical efficacy of mesalazine. Ulcerative Colitis is believed to slightly increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The effects of mesalazine observed under experimental conditions and from patient biopsies support the role of mesalazine in the prevention of colorectal cancer associated with colitis. However, a meta-analysis of data indicates an inconsistent clinical conclusion regarding the benefit of mesalazine on the risk of carcinogenesis associated with ulcerative colitis.

What are the benefits of taking it?

Mesalazine is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis (a chronic inflammatory bowel disease) and for the maintenance of remission in cases of Crohn’s disease. The drug belongs to the aminosalicylates class of medicines. Mesalazine is believed to alleviate inflammation in the intestine by blocking the enzyme cyclooxygenase and inhibiting the production of prostaglandins in the intestinal wall thus relieving symptoms of flare ups of the condition.

How do I use it and its dosage?

Octasa must always be taken exactly as your doctor or pharmacist advised. Should you have any questions or queries concerning your dosage, then please consult your doctor or pharmacist. The recommended doage of this medicine will have been determined by your treating doctor.

Side effects & precautions

All drugs have side effects and Octasa is no different, although not everyone will experience them. In a very small minority of cases of a severe allergic reaction (including severe skin erosions that can affect the skin as a protective barrier to the body) have been observed. An allergic response like this could cause swelling of the face and neck and/or breathing or swallowing difficulties (Quincke's oedema). If these symptoms affect you, please contact your doctor or emergency department urgently. Some side effects are more common and affect between 1 and 10 of every 100 treated patients. These symptoms include:
headache
diarrhoea
sickness
abdominal pain
vomiting
acne
flatulence (gases)

Other side effects are rarer (affecting between 1 and 10 of every 10,000 patients) such as:
inflammation of some areas of the heart (myocarditis and pericarditis) that can cause shortness of breath and chest pain or palpitations (fast or irregular heartbeat)
inflammation of the pancreas (includes symptoms of back and/or stomach pain) and increased amylase
dizziness
increased skin sensitivity to sunlight and ultraviolet (photosensitivity)

The following very rare side effects affect less than 1 in 10,000 treated patients:
eosinophilia (as part of an allergic reaction) and blood disorders such as reduced red blood cells (anaemia), white blood cells (leukopenia), and platelets (thrombocytopenia), which can increase the chance of infection or bleeding.
liver disorders (hepatitis) characterized by symptoms including jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or eyes) and/or white stool.
kidney disorders (symptoms include blood in the urine, a change in the colour of the urine, oedema (swelling due to increased fluids that can cause ankle swelling, and increased blood pressure (nephritis)
peripheral neuropathy (a condition that affects the nerves of the hands and feet including symptoms of tickling and numbness)
pulmonary and fibrotic allergic reactions (symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, bronchospasm, bleeding and/or excessive phlegm)
hair loss (this is reversible)
muscle or joint pain
inflammation that can affect various parts of the body such as the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, etc. (symptoms include aching joints, fatigue, fever, abnormal or unexplained bleeding (for example, bleeding from the nose), bruising, purple discoloration of skin, spots under the skin (including severe skin erosions and severe burning that can affect the skin as a protective barrier for the body)
semen with a low concentration of sperm (oligospermia) (this is reversible)
severe diarrhoea and abdominal pain due to an allergic reaction to this drug in the intestine
allergic reactions and fever may occasionally occur

Buying Mesalazine online

You can buy Octasa tablets online through one of the UK’s leading online pharmacies, Pharmacy Planet. It's easy and convenient. You will need to fill out a short assessment and the item will be delivered directly to your door. If you want to buy these Gastrointestinal tablets online, use Pharmacy Planet, a UK pharmacy you can trust.

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