• Sulfasalazine: Patient Information

    Who should get Sulfasalazine?

    Sulfasalazine is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthropathies. Its mechanism of action in RA is unknown.

    What is the usual dose of this medication?

    The usual dose is 2-3 grams per day in a twice-daily dosing regimen. The dose may be initiated at 1 gram per day and increased as tolerated.


    How long will sulfasalazine take to work?

    Sulfasalazine does not work immediately. It may be at least 12 weeks before you notice any benefit.


    What are the possible side effects?

    • Sulfasalazine may cause hypersensitivity and allergic reactions in patients who have experienced reactions to sulfa medications.
    • Mild gastrointestinal complaints are commonly seen and these can be decreased by administration of the medication with meals.
    • Patients may be screened before the use of sulfasalazine for a deficiency of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), which may predispose patients to red blood cell hemolysis and anemia.
    • Blood monitoring is typically every 1-3 months depending on dose.


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