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Side Effects of Balsalazide

Common side effects of balsalazide can include diarrhea, insomnia, joint pain, and fatigue. Most people, however, have no problems when taking this drug. If side effects do occur, they are mostly minor and easily treated. Some balsalazide side effects, however, are serious and may require medical attention. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you experience serious side effects such as signs of liver damage or worsening of ulcerative colitis symptoms.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Balsalazide

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with balsalazide sodium (Colazal®); however, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with balsalazide. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of balsalazide side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Balsalazide

Balsalazide has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and are then compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, some of the most common balsalazide side effects included:
  • Abdominal pain (or stomach pain) -- in up to 6 percent of people
  • Diarrhea -- up to 5 percent
  • Joint pain -- up to 4 percent
  • An irritated or runny nose -- up to 2 percent
  • Insomnia -- up to 2 percent (see Colazal and Insomnia)
  • Fatigue -- up to 2 percent
  • Rectal bleeding -- up to 2 percent
  • Gas -- up to 2 percent
  • A fever -- up to 2 percent
  • Indigestion or heartburn -- up to 2 percent
  • A sore throat -- up to 2 percent
  • A cough -- up to 2 percent.
Some other common side effects (occurring in 1 percent of people) included:

Balsalazide Disodium

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