Asacol Discontinued: What Are Your Options?

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Earlier this month, Asacol (mesalamine) 400 mg was discontinued by the manufacturer. If you take Asacol, don’t worry about another flare up—here’s what you need to know!

Asacol is used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. It has an anti-inflammatory effect directly on the surface of the intestines and helps to alleviate symptoms.

The manufacturer has only stopped making the 400 mg tablet. Any Asacol that is in pharmacies and with patients is still safe to use.

The 800 mg tablet Asacol HD is still available, however, it cannot be cut in half to get the same dose.

So what should you do if you are currently taking Asacol 400 mg?
  Check with your local pharmacy to see if they still have any Asacol 400 mg in stock. Any Asacol still available through distributors and pharmacies is safe, but will not be around for long.

  If it is unavailable, contact your pharmacy or health care provider to switch to an alternative. Depending on why you were prescribed Asacol, you can try several oral alternatives, including Asacol HD, Delzicol, Pentasa, and Lialda.

The good news:
  An alternative to Asacol 400 mg tablets is now available as a capsule: Delzicol. This medicine works in the same way, with the same active ingredient, at the same dose.

  The patent for the 400 mg tablet runs out soon. This means generic mesalamine 400 mg tablets should be available in the near future.

Talk to your pharmacist or health care provider if you have any more questions.

Til next time,

The GoodRx Pharmacist

120 capsules of Delzicol will cost about $250 – $280 with a coupon, very similar to the price of the Asacol 400 mg tablet. Asacol HD is typically prescribed for shorter-term use, but may be significantly more expensive, around $800 for 180 tablets. Both are often covered by insurance plans under Tier 2, meaning a moderate copay.

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