Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®)

What is Sulfasalazine?

Sulfasalazine is commonly known by the brand name Azulfidineâ. Sulfasalazine (Sul-fa-SAL-a-zeen) is an anti-inflammatory agent used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It works by suppressing the blood cells that cause inflammation.

How do I take it?

Sulfasalazine is taken twice daily. The pills are 500-mg. each. The usual dose for this drug is 2 to 6 pills daily. You doctor will tell you how many pills to take and how often. Follow your doctor’s directions. For the best results, take these pills at the same time every day. Do not take more or less medicine than ordered. This medicine should be taken with food. You should also drink a full glass of water with each dose.

What else should I know?

Sulfasalazine is less likely to cause gastric upset and ulcers than NSAIDS. However, in some cases patients have complained of upset stomachs, indigestion, or diarrhea. Stomach problems may be more likely to occur if you drink alcoholic beverages while being treated with this medicine. This medicine can occasionally affect the liver and some blood counts. Blood tests will be done every 2 months to check for problems. IF YOU HAVE A KNOWN ALLERGY TO SULFA DRUGS, DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE UNTIL YOU TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR.

What about other medications?

When you are taking Sulfasalazine, it is very important that your doctors know if you are taking any other medicine. This includes prescription and non-prescription medicines as well as birth control pills, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Sulfasalazine can be taken with other medications, however it is best to have your doctor’s advice before adding another drug to your daily routine.

Updated: April 25, 2012

Victoria Ruffing, RN

About Victoria Ruffing, RN

Ms. Ruffing has been a member of the Arthritis Center since 2000, currently serving as the Nurse Manager. She is a critical member of our patient care team.