What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.

Asacol HD (Mesalamine)


Asacol HD (Mesalamine)

Prescription Required


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Generic Equivalent - Asacol HD (Mesalamine)

Prescription Required


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  • Product Details


    Asacol HD (mesalamine) is an anti-inflammatory drug. It is used to treat ulcerative colitis in adult patients. Asacol HD comes as an 800mg tablet with a delayed-release coating.

    Fact Table






    Orally: 20-30% absorbed, Rectally: 10-35%

    Legal status

    RX Only

    Chemical Name


    Elimination half-life

    5 hours after initial dose. At steady state 7 hours

    Dosage (Strength)

    800mg (90 tablets)


    Consult a doctor


    Asacol HD

    Protein binding


    PubChem CID






    ATC code






    Routes of administration

    By mouth, rectal


    • The recommended dose for adults with moderately active ulcerative colitis is 1600mg. Take two 800mg tablets three times per day.
    • Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water.
    • Do not chew or crush Asacol HD tablets.


    Mesalamine is the active ingredient in Asacol HD. There are multiple inactive ingredients. You can find a full list of ingredients by clicking here.


    • Avoid using Asacol HD for more than six consecutive weeks.
    • Do not use Asacol HD if you are allergic to salicylates or any of the ingredients found in Asacol HD.
    • If you have liver or kidney disease, you should talk to your doctor about the risks of using Asacol HD.
    • Discuss all of your current medications with your physician before starting Asacol HD.
    • There might be risks associated with using Asacol HD if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Discuss the risks with your physician before starting Asacol HD.
    • Your colitis symptoms might worsen after starting Asacol HD. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor:
      • Cramping
      • Abdominal Pain
      • Bloody Diarrhea
      • Fever

    Side Effects

    Asacol HD can cause the following side effects:

    • Worsening of ulcerative colitis
    • Abdominal Pain
    • Nausea
    • Headache
    • Nasopharyngitis

    Other Considerations

    • You can buy Asacol 800mg as an Asacol generic. Click here if you are interested in comparing the generic Asacol price.


    1. DailyMed - Asacol HD- MESALAMINE TABLET, delayed release. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2020
    2. List of salicylates. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2020

    Frequently Asked Questions about Asacol HD (Mesalamine)

    What is Asacol HD (Mesalamine)?

    Asacol HD (Mesalamine) is a prescription medication used to treat moderately active ulcerative colitis (UC) in adults. UC is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the colon.

    What is Asacol HD used for?

    Asacol HD is used to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms of UC, such as rectal bleeding, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping.

    How does Asacol HD work?

    Asacol HD is a delayed-release tablet that releases mesalamine directly to the colon. Mesalamine is an anti-inflammatory drug that works by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause inflammation.

    What is the dosage for Asacol HD?

    The recommended dosage for Asacol HD is 800 mg three times daily for 6 weeks. Asacol HD should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

    How to take Asacol HD?

    Swallow the Asacol HD tablet whole. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

    What are the side effects of Asacol HD?

    The most common side effects of Asacol HD are headache, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, gas, and flatulence. Other possible side effects include dizziness, muscle pain, and rash.

    Who should not take Asacol HD?

    You should not take Asacol HD if you are allergic to mesalamine or any of the other ingredients in the medication. You should also not take Asacol HD if you have severe kidney disease or severe liver disease.

    Can I take Asacol HD while pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Asacol HD while pregnant or breastfeeding. Mesalamine may pass into breast milk, but it is not known if it is harmful to a nursing infant.

    What are the drug interactions with Asacol HD?

    Asacol HD may interact with other medications you are taking, such as azathioprine, mercaptopurine, or allopurinol. Talk to your doctor about any other medications you are taking before starting Asacol HD.

    How long can I take Asacol HD?

    Asacol HD is typically taken for 6 weeks to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms of UC. After 6 weeks, your doctor will assess your response to treatment and determine if you need to continue taking Asacol HD.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

    Product Code : 11456

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