Two different strengths of Asacol

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journey2health
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2640
   Posted 4/28/2010 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Why are some people put on HD Asacol and others put on regular Asacol 400 mg. What's the difference? Should I ask for double strength instead of the single strength?
Ellen

diagnosed pancolitis mild to mod Sept. 19, 2009
On Pred since March 20, 2010 -- now tapering -- on 5 mg. and 7.5 alternating days for two weeks.
12 400 mg. Asacol daily, 1000 mg. Canasa daily, Rowesa enemas nightly; analpram for hemmies, 1 tbs. psyllium husk powder VSL-#3 -- one packet daily, multi-vitamin; 1200 mg calcium plus D, 1000 mg Biotin 5,000 (hair loss), 2 capsules turmeric. Eliminated dairy, red meat,alcohol caffeine, spicy, fried, greasy, vinegar and citrus. Bipolar - Lamictal 200 mg, Zyprexa 5 mg.
Omeprazole 40 mg for GERD, Zinc Magnesium and B6 compound (ZMA) 2 capsules and melatonin 4 mg. for sleep


fruitgirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6790
   Posted 4/28/2010 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
The HD was introduced to compete with Lialda and Apriso, because with the HD you take less pills per day. However, I think they still recommend you take it 2-3 times during the day, where with Lialda and Apriso you can take it just once.
Co-Moderator, UC Forum
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Meds: Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, multivitamin.  Used prednisone (starting dose 40 mg) to get into remission.
 
 


UC Momma
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 4/28/2010 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ellen,

Yep, it's Asacol's way of jumping on the less pills bandwagon. I was taking up to 12, 400mg pills per day, and it drove me crazy. My GI put me on Asacol HD 800mg, after I told him a was sick of popping pills every time I turned around. For me, the HD has worked A LOT better than the 400mg Asacol. My pharmacist did tell me that it takes longer to break down, and so the medicine might actually be getting where it's really needed. I started with 6 HD pills per day, 2 with each meal, and now I'm down to 4. They are BIG though, probably why it takes longer to break down. Like the size of a multi-vitamin I would say. Not hard to swallow though. I tolerated Asacol well side-effect wise, which is why my GI suggested it. My insurance would not cover it, which I was pissed about, but you can get a patient assistant card, which makes it $50 for me...
Diagnosed in 2007 w/ left sided colitis a year after birth of first child
Currently taking ONLY 4!!! Asacol HD per day, Align probiotic, prenatal vitamin
Dare I say it...in REMISSION after starting Asacol HD in April 2010!!!!


Lynn27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 4/28/2010 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I just switched to the asacol HD...well still finishing the regulare asacol right now because it is so expensive and don't want to waste the meds...but i am really excited to not have to take pills 3 times a day and just twice!
Ulcerative colitis (whole colon)
since 2002
 Feeling well....as normal as we can I guess!
 
 
  • 6MP 50mg daily
  • Canasa supp prn 
  • Flinstone vitamins
  • Asacol 3 pills 3 times a day....going to change to sulfasalazine
  • Remicade started 9/09
  • tapering off prednsione....been on since 6/09...finally off...but suffering arthritis from it.
  • Had 1st baby 9/15/09!!!!
     


journey2health
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2640
   Posted 4/28/2010 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
That's all I need is another high co-pay on a UC med. Worth the multiple pills just to spend $15 a month -- at least for now.
Ellen

diagnosed pancolitis mild to mod Sept. 19, 2009
On Pred since March 20, 2010 -- now tapering -- on 5 mg. and 7.5 alternating days for two weeks.
12 400 mg. Asacol daily, 1000 mg. Canasa daily, Rowesa enemas nightly; analpram for hemmies, 1 tbs. psyllium husk powder VSL-#3 -- one packet daily, multi-vitamin; 1200 mg calcium plus D, 1000 mg Biotin 5,000 (hair loss), 2 capsules turmeric. Eliminated dairy, red meat,alcohol caffeine, spicy, fried, greasy, vinegar and citrus. Bipolar - Lamictal 200 mg, Zyprexa 5 mg.
Omeprazole 40 mg for GERD, Zinc Magnesium and B6 compound (ZMA) 2 capsules and melatonin 4 mg. for sleep


AZYooper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1071
   Posted 4/28/2010 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
There is a slight difference in the coating I believe but it releases the contents at the same PH level. Competing drugs have come out with higher dosage strengths per pill. Therapies are also using higher dosages for inducing remission.

Asacol is going to lose it's patent protection soon and people like taking fewer pills. Simply put...its for the money.

Currently the price for Asacol and Asacol HD is about the same for the same dosage. That will change(I hope)

A clinical study came out (I believe funded by Lialda's maker) showing that taking split dosages isn't necessary to maintain remission. This opened the flood gate for a crop of new purple pills. The multiple dosing probably originates with sulfazine drugs which have very common adverse reactions which increase with dosage. Mesalimines have much fewer problems and higher dosages don't seem to increase them.

The difference between mesalimine drugs is the delivery method. Probably just a convenience thing with Asacol and Asacol HD. The drug companies claim that less pills means higher compliance which can outweigh some amount of less effectiveness. If it doesn't bother you to take a bunch of pills, take the one that costs you less.

I am taking Asacol HD because my GI doctor runs clinical trials from his office IMHO. I also stretch the monthly dosage 3 months and save the copay. Don't tell him or my insurance company.

wink
Diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis as my 50th birthday present Dec 2009
4.8 grams Asacol HD plus 1000mg canasa daily for 8 weeks
Now on 1.6 gr Asacol HD daily


Lynn27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 4/28/2010 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
The asacol HD actually costs me about 75 dollars less with the patient assist program then with the regular asacol. Also very exciting!
Ulcerative colitis (whole colon)
since 2002
 Feeling well....as normal as we can I guess!
 
 
  • 6MP 50mg daily
  • Canasa supp prn 
  • Flinstone vitamins
  • Asacol 3 pills 3 times a day....going to change to sulfasalazine
  • Remicade started 9/09
  • tapering off prednsione....been on since 6/09...finally off...but suffering arthritis from it.
  • Had 1st baby 9/15/09!!!!
     


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25592
   Posted 4/28/2010 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
The only problem with it is if you're going to taper....so if you were wanting to use the HD, wait until you're at a lower dosage...at least until you're a bit more established with what the 5ASA can do for you.

q

UC Momma
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 4/28/2010 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
That's awesome Lynn27! My insurance absolutely REFUSED to cover the HD, even though it actually costs less to them than my prescription for Asacol 400mg (at 12 pills/day). Go figure. Needless to say, I'm filing a grievance with my insurance company.

I highly recommend anyone who wants to switch to check out the patient assistance program, if you and your GI decide to go the HD route.
Diagnosed in 2007 w/ left sided colitis a year after birth of first child
Currently taking ONLY 4!!! Asacol HD per day, Align probiotic, prenatal vitamin
Dare I say it...in REMISSION after starting Asacol HD in April 2010!!!!


journey2health
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2640
   Posted 4/28/2010 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
smart thinking, Quincy. Too premature to think of HD.
Ellen

diagnosed pancolitis mild to mod Sept. 19, 2009
On Pred since March 20, 2010 -- now tapering -- on 5 mg. and 7.5 alternating days for two weeks.
12 400 mg. Asacol daily, 1000 mg. Canasa daily, Rowesa enemas nightly; analpram for hemmies, 1 tbs. psyllium husk powder VSL-#3 -- one packet daily, multi-vitamin; 1200 mg calcium plus D, 1000 mg Biotin 5,000 (hair loss), 2 capsules turmeric. Eliminated dairy, red meat,alcohol caffeine, spicy, fried, greasy, vinegar and citrus. Bipolar - Lamictal 200 mg, Zyprexa 5 mg.
Omeprazole 40 mg for GERD, Zinc Magnesium and B6 compound (ZMA) 2 capsules and melatonin 4 mg. for sleep


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25592
   Posted 4/28/2010 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
but it's an option...for later

Gentle Now
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 4/28/2010 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I switched to HD to take less pills too - though they're twice as big, so that was like the same difference to me. I used to take 4 asacol three times a day - now i take 3 HD twice a day. I self-changed my administration from three times a day because I was always missing my afternoon dose, and now that I'm regular it has been simple and improved.

Either Asacol or HD costs me (wait for it.....) $20 a day. When I get upset about that, my husband reminds me that I'm worth it. But still!!!!

What is the patient assist program?
diagnosed with UC in Feb 2007
taking 12 Asacol/day since then
take Rowasa enema as needed
Mega-dosing on iron due to anemia
 
Have tried dozens of alternate remedies: 
glutamine, sunflower/spinach, omega3, Ayurveda, reflexology, herbal prescriptions, blood allergy testing (avoiding dairy and eggwhites), tried no nightshades, tried SCD (not very strict to be honest), tried Guts to Glory program, briefly tried David Klein diet, mega-probiotics, probiotic enemas, slippery elm enemas, etc. etc. 
I know that the right combination for what my tender tummy needs is out there!


UC Momma
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 4/29/2010 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Gentle Now,

You can ask your GI for a Patient Savings Card. That's where I got mine. Here is a phone number as well that's on my HD card (you have to take it to the pharmacy when you refill): 1-866-379-9569. You can also go to their website www.AsacolHD.com and click on the patients savings card activation link to enroll and to see if you qualify. It would worth if for sure if you're paying $20/day!!! :) It costs me $50/month.
Diagnosed in 2007 w/ left sided colitis a year after birth of first child
Currently taking ONLY 4!!! Asacol HD per day, Align probiotic, prenatal vitamin
Dare I say it...in REMISSION after starting Asacol HD in April 2010!!!!


wodin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 488
   Posted 4/29/2010 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I switched from Asacol to Colazol about a year ago because I have proctosigmoiditis, and the way Colazol works it tends to be more effective for distal colon UC.

That being said, Asacol HD sounds like nothing more than a marketing ploy to me. How they can possibly justify one Asacol HD tablet costing a different price that two Asacol tablets boggles the imagination.

UC Momma
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 4/29/2010 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   
All I know is that it works for me...better than Asacol 400mg. I don't know how or why, but I feel fabulous, and I just can't argue with that. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and what works for some of us, may not work for others.
Diagnosed in 2007 w/ left sided colitis a year after birth of first child
Currently taking ONLY 4!!! Asacol HD per day, Align probiotic, prenatal vitamin
Dare I say it...in REMISSION after starting Asacol HD in April 2010!!!!


Gentle Now
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 4/29/2010 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi UC Mommam
I'm with you - even though taking one huge HD is no more convenient than two smaller Asacols, I can say that the HD seems to be "hitting the target" better.
Thank you SO MUCH for the savings information... I will call them tomorrow. Cross your fingers.
Hugs!
diagnosed with UC in Feb 2007
taking 12 Asacol/day since then
take Rowasa enema as needed
Mega-dosing on iron due to anemia
 
Have tried dozens of alternate remedies: 
glutamine, sunflower/spinach, omega3, Ayurveda, reflexology, herbal prescriptions, blood allergy testing (avoiding dairy and eggwhites), tried no nightshades, tried SCD (not very strict to be honest), tried Guts to Glory program, briefly tried David Klein diet, mega-probiotics, probiotic enemas, slippery elm enemas, etc. etc. 
I know that the right combination for what my tender tummy needs is out there!


UC Momma
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 4/30/2010 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Gentle Now,

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you...let me know how it turns out!
Diagnosed in 2007 w/ left sided colitis a year after birth of first child
Currently taking ONLY 4!!! Asacol HD per day, Align probiotic, prenatal vitamin
Dare I say it...in REMISSION after starting Asacol HD in April 2010!!!!

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