Asacol vs Lialda are anti-inflammatory aminosalicylate medications used to treat ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and proctosigmoiditis. The two drugs are also taken to stop the recurrence of ulcerative colitis symptoms.
Due to the chronic (long-term) nature of ulcerative colitis, your symptoms may evolve. There may be times when your illness is active, and you experience many symptoms. This is referred to as a flare-up. There are also times when your symptoms improve. This state is referred to as remission.
So, what is the difference between Asacol and Lialda? Is one better than the other? Continue reading to learn more about these two medications.
What is Asacol?
You can take Asacol if dealing with a specific intestinal condition such as ulcerative colitis. It aids in easing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, such as stomach discomfort, rectal bleeding, and diarrhea. Moreover, Asacol has Mesalamine as an active ingredient and is also a member of the aminosalicylates drug class.
Asacol is used as a maintenance medicine, which helps to maintain remission (when there is little to no disease activity), but not to suppress a flare-up (a period with signs and symptoms of active disease).
However, patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis who have achieved remission on a biologic and immunomodulator drug should not use Asacol for maintenance.
How is Asacol taken?
Asacol can be taken orally, applied topically, or administered as a liquid or foam enema.
The pills must be consumed whole, without being crushed or chewed, for Asacol to work effectively. The body can completely absorb even the pill’s outer covering or shell, so it is safe to take by mouth.
Asacol side effects
Some of the most common side effects of Asacol are the following:
- constant stomach ache,
- stomach cramps
- bloody stool
- body rash
- poop that resembles coffee grinds
- little to no urination
- difficult or painful urination
- swollen ankles and feet
- difficulty breathing
- decrease in appetite
- upper stomach discomfort
- simple bleeding or bruising
- shady urine
What is Lialda?
Like Asacol, Lialda is an anti-inflammatory medication used to treat ulcerative colitis. It is often prescribed likewise to treat other inflammatory bowel diseases.
Mesalamine is present in Lialda. It belongs to a group of medications known as aminosalicylates. Aminosalicylates lessen the inflammation in your bowel.
A patient can take one delayed-release tablet of Lialda per day. The tablet only comes in 1.2 grams and has no other strength options.
How is Lialda taken?
Follow your doctor’s instructions and take this medication by mouth with a meal once daily.
It is important to note that the tablets must not be chewed, crushed, or broken and must be swallowed whole. Doing otherwise may result in the medication not being adequately absorbed into the colon.
Your medical condition and treatment response will determine the dosage. For kids, the dosage is determined by weight.
Lialda side effects
Some of the most common side effects of Lialda are the following:
- flatulence (passing gas)
- higher liver enzyme levels
- stomach/belly ache
- hair loss
- joint pain
- upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold
- anemia (low red blood cell levels)