Sulfasalazine for Paul


My name is Paul,I’m 33.  A few days ago on Oct, 5th, 2011 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.   I’ve been Hospitalized multiple times in the past for abdominal pain/bloody stools, and seem to have suffered from on and off spells of diarrhea probably since my teens.

My Story:

I have been a heavy smoker for the past 15 years,and have stopped cold turkey almost 2 years ago, I started exercising and taking control of joint problems.  Feeling better than ever, except for 1 year into stopping smoking I developed canker sores in my mouth, 4 to 6 at a time and always constant.  Which seem to increase with stress or eating hard foods that scratch the inside of the mouth. A mouth rinse called Mycostatin seemed to help the best alongside eating softer foods.  However, For the past month I have been going through this flare up, going to the bathroom a dozen times a day ,once or twice at night. I just feel drained and raw. My question to anyone would be about my prescription for Sulfasazine.  Is sulfasalazine very successful & if so how long does it take before sulfasalazine starts helping?

Also, one more question:  Can a Doctor identify or diagnose UC during a colonoscopy while the patient is in remission ?

Submitted by Paul aka “Realivemovement” in the Colitis Venting Area


7 thoughts on “Sulfasalazine for Paul”

  1. Hi Paul :) The first med I was prescribed (besides Prednisone) after I was diagnosed with UC was Sulfasalazine…I really didn’t have any success with it. It seemed to be working while I was on the prednisone in addition to it, but when I went off the prednisone, I would still get flare ups. I was switched to Asacol and have been on it ever since. I have had a lot of success with it and have been in remission for 6 years while taking 1200mg two times daily. As for the diagnosing of UC while not being active….I’m not sure? That would probably be best answered by a gastro doc. Good luck to you!

  2. Hello there,

    Sulfasalazine as told by my doctor is a maintenance drug. Which means it is desging to keep you in remission. Prednisone is a steriod that works right away. You can not take prednisone long term. As far as Asacol there has been rare instances mine included where you can develope Pancreatitus from it. So it is not for everyone. I would talk to your doctor about it.

  3. Thank you Amber, I will keep what you wrote in mind, I’m still in a disbelief about
    Being diagnosed UC, there are many questions I have yet to ask my Doc. In my next
    Visit , most important the extent of inflamation as to what kind of colitis it is in me , I was diagnosed
    After a colonoscopy where they had took biopsys ,now I’m waiting on blood work to see if it is
    Crohn’s . I have lower back problems , canker sores ,it just makes me worry which doesn’t
    Help at all. Sometimes these doctors can really kind of leave us searching in the dark,telling us to just
    Google it . Then get frustrated when we question things like side effects. As of
    Right know I’m eating light,drinking only water ,taking sulfasalazine ,multi vit.calcium,fish oil,
    So far I’ve cut my bathroom time in half , & my cramps are not as intense. But I’m still passing
    fluid and blood .Thank you so much for responding. Paul

  4. HEY Paul,
    Good to hear your story…
    I was diagnosed back in January… Was in a flare for around a month or so….
    I had my colonoscopy.. and then was told I had UC…. I went on sulfasalazine… 2 pills, 3 times a day… did that for a around two weeks or so… then had a GI appointment and she put me on lialda…
    3 pills in the morning…
    I feel the sulfasalazine worked…but I was also stated the SCD diet right after I was diagnosed…. and then she recommend lialda…. way more expensive…but newer… yet still dont know the side affects… unlike sulfasalazine which has been around for quite a while.
    I recommend taking sulfasalazine and doing the diet right away until your flares gone…
    Then decide if you want to do both or try just the pills and do a normal diet and see how your body handles it… then try just the scd die without the pills……
    Just something you could try…
    good luck my man!!
    And that’s a great question you asked… about if a doctor can tell if you have UC by colonoscopy when your not flared up… I would assume so because they would see scar tissue and most likely the scope would irritate your colon and they also take samples, so that could cause a flare… I felt like when I had my signoscopy, I started my flare even worse, because of the irritation…but the funny thing is the doc didnt see any sign of UC when he did the sigmoidoscopy yet a few weeks later I was diagnosed by colonoscopy and it turns out its pretty close to my rectum…Kinda weird how they couldn’t see that or any visible signs of ulcers…. makes me wonder….cant trust all docs and alot of them just aint good… so find a good doc!!!
    Hope everything goes well Paul.. and hang in there!!!!
    You’ll get trough it….let us know what happens!!
    JOhnny Drama

  5. I was just diagnosed with UC a little over three weeks ago. I began with the Sulfasalazin. Next to that I was taking prednisone and antibiotics, but after the antibiotics ran out (a week later) I started feeling worse again, had fevers and really bad cramps, as well as increased frequency of diarrhea. I saw my GI and he put me on Lialda (which is so unaffordable but they have a support program that I hope will cover the costs for me). Anyway, apparently, the GI said, the sulfasalazin did not work for me. I have been taking Lialda for eight days now and I can see major improvements. I have to go less frequently and there usually is no more blood, and less cramping.

    But I know Sulfasalazin works for other people, so good luck to you. I’d rather be using it, simply for financial reasons.

    And I don’t think Doctors can diagnose UC in remission. When I got my first colonoscopy two years ago it was as my symptoms were disappearing. All they saw were traces, they just diagnosed it as a colitis and never looked at me again. It had to get really bad, before they took a closer look…

  6. I was just diagnosed with UC about a week ago. I went for my colonoscopy and they said there was some inflammation in my rectum and some internal hemorrhoids. I feel like my UC symptoms are fairly mild compared to others I have read about. I really just wanted to make sure it wasn’t colon cancer or something terrible. My doctor prescribed me Sulfasalazine 500mg tabs to take twice a day but after talking with the pharmacist and reading all the horrible side effects im not sure I want to take them. I think I’d rather deal with the symptoms I have than go through any of the side effects from Sulfasalazine. They range from turning me orange to FATAL skin reactions and some of the symptoms and reactions are irreversible. I plan on calling my doctor today to discuss but I don’t think im going to take it. Anyone else have some input on Sulfasalazine?

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