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Asamax®

Gastroenterology

NEW Asamax® 500 is a FULLY FUNDED medication for the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.


What is Asamax? 
Asamax (mesalazine) tablets are used to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease which cause inflammation of the bowel, bleeding from the rectum, stomach pain and diarrhoea. 

The active ingredient in this medicine is mesalazine. It is an anti-inflammatory agent and is thought to suppress the inflammation in the bowel. This medication helps to control your condition, but does not cure it. 

Asamax is a prescription only medicine. 


How should I take Asamax? 
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Dosing depends on the disease you are suffering from. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, and continue using your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you, even if you feel well. 

It is very IMPORTANT that you follow the directions on your prescription label. 

Asamax tablets must be taken whole and must not be divided. 
Asamax tablets should be taken after meals with a little water and must not be chewed. 


Who can take Asamax? 
Asamax can be used in adults and children over the age of two. 


Can I take Asamax if I am pregnant or breast feeding? 
Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved. Asamax should be used with caution during pregnancy and lactation (breast feeding). 


What are the side effects of Asamax? 
Asamax helps most people but a few people do experience side effects. All medicines can have side effects. Not all of these side effects may occur, and if they do occur you may need medical attention. 

The most common side effects are nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain / cramps, headache, dizziness and mood swings. 

Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor or pharmacist immediately if you experience any of these side effects. 


How do I start on Asamax? 
Asamax is FULLY FUNDED and therefore you do not need to pay for this medicine. You will need to make an appointment to see your local doctor and discuss whether Asamax is right for you. Doctor fees and a pharmacist charge may apply. 


ASAMAX is fully funded without restriction from 1 January 2010. 



Asamax logo Asamax box



Note: Information on this site is not intended to replace the advice given by your doctor or other health professional 


Indication: ASAMAX is used to treat Crohn’s disease affecting the colon and ulcerative colitis, diseases associated with inflammation, ulcers and sores in the bowel causing bleeding, stomach pain, and diarrhoea. Contraindications: Do not take ASAMAX if you have: an allergy to mesalazine or aspirin-like medicines, or any of the ingredients in ASAMAX; a severe kidney or liver problem; problems with the clotting of your blood or you tend to bleed easily; a stomach or duodenal ulcer. Do not give ASAMAX to a child under 2 years of age. Warnings and Precautions: Tell your doctor if you have: any allergies to medicines, foods, or dyes; a known allergy to ASAMAX, sulfasalazine or aspirin-like medicines; a kidney or liver problem; lung or breathing problems such as asthma. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. ASAMAX may interfere with other medicines, which include: azathioprine, used to suppress the immune system; mercaptopurine, used to treat leukaemia; sulphonylureas, used to lower blood sugar and treat diabetes (e.g. glibenclamide, glipizide); anti-coagulants, used to thin blood or stop blood clots (e.g. warfarin); methotrexate, used to treat arthritis and some forms of cancer; probenicid or sulfinpyrazone, used to treat gout; spironolactone or furosemide, used to increase the amount of urine produced, and to lower blood pressure; rifampicin, used to treat tuberculosis; glucocorticoids, used to treat inflammation, swelling or allergies (e.g. prednisolone). 

Adverse Events:
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you: headache; diarrhoea; abdominal or stomach pain; nausea (feeling sick); vomiting; mood swings; dizziness. Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following: bruising easily, unusual bleeding (e.g. nosebleeds), or frequent signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat and mouth ulcers; painful joints; severe upper stomach pain, nausea and vomiting; chest pain, sometimes spreading to the neck and shoulders, or with fever; mild skin rash, hives or itching; yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark coloured urine; worsening of your condition. If you notice any of the following, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital: sudden signs of allergic reactions (rash, itching or hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or swelling of limbs, face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat); severe stomach cramps and/or pain, bloody diarrhoea, fever, severe headache and skin rash; rash with severe blisters and bleeding of the eyes, mouth, lips, nose and genitals. Classification: ASAMAX is a prescription only medicine containing 500mg of mesalazine. For more information, please contact your healthcare provider or bioCSL (NZ) Ltd, PO Box 62 590, Greenlane, Auckland 1546, Freephone 0800 502 757 or www.biocsl.co.nz. ASAMAX is a registered trademark of Astellas Pharma International. ASAM-008-02/10 TAPS CH2521 DA993PG. 


For further information, click on the helpful links below. 


Helpful Links

Consumer Medicine Information
Medicine Data Sheet

Last Updated: 16-09-2013