Stopping ASACOL for surgery

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/20/2008 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
My fiance has mild / moderate UC and has been on ASACOL for nearly 8 years and hasn't had very many flare ups. However, she is going in for surgery in two weeks and the surgeon requires her to go off the ASACOL for the next two weeks because of its possible affects on thinning the blood.
Has anyone had any experience with this? Whats peoples experience for going off the drug for a short period of time such as two weeks, did you have any problems?
Further to that, I assume it will be important to follow a strict diet for the next to weeks to minimize the chances.
Thanks in advance.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 8/20/2008 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Discontinuing the medicaton will eventually lead to a flare, but it's quite possible she'll be fine for the two-week period. Sometimes people go for months or years before flaring. As for diet, there is no standard diet recommendation. She may want to avoid very high fiber and fatty foods, but otherwise it's different for each person.

I hope she has a very successful surgery and a quick recovery!
Judy - Southern US 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 8/20/2008 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I didn't know asacol had any blood thinning effects. I had surgery last year and this was not ever suggested. Maybe the doctor would let her use the enemas in the meantime?? Hope all goes well.
49 year old female, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. 
Currently 10 mg prednisone tapering off from lingering flare;
Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for severe anemia.
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free, soy-free, etc. diet and Replete probiotic, DGL Plus (licorice root, slippery elm), Permeability Factors.
Flare is resolved after just two weeks of no gluten, soy, tomato, other foods tested to be intolerant!

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30971
   Posted 8/21/2008 2:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I've had two surgeries and had never gone off asacol or the enemas beforehand.

5ASA meds...being that they're salicylates, can have a thinning of the blood effect.

What surgery is she having (unless you're uncomfortable to answer)?

Her surgeon is asking a LOT from her to go off the meds...she can request the doc do a blood clotting test. They did that for me in the hospital the night before the surgery...mine was perfect.

Have your girlfriend call her GI and get it straightened out before accepting the word of the surgeon if it's not necessary she go off the Asacol. The GI might be able to call and discuss it with the surgeon as well. many is she taking daily? Is she on other meds as well as supplemets such as omega 3 oils, flax, vitamin E, etc? Those are other considerations before the 5ASA meds.

Since diet doesn't cause flaring, she should eat wisely and well balanced so that she's not in discomfort.

Welcome to the forum....
*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 8/21/2008 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   

I had a c-section a little over 6 months ago and did have to stop my Asacol.  I was supposed to stop it beforehand, but my son unexpectedly arrived several weeks early, so I wasn't able to.  I did discontinue it for one week after the birth.  Everything was fine.

My GI knew that I was stopping the Asacol.  I consulted with him after my OB made the suggestion.  I echo Quincy's advice - a discussion with your fiance's GI is necessary.

Wearing many hats: Mother, Wife, Daughter, Professional, Sister, Friend
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Multi-Vitamin (1x per day)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 8/21/2008 11:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I went off Asacol cold turkey for a different reason on 09/07/07 (began pred the same day, did not help me, GI thought I would be fine) and started flaring up 9/21/07, mutliple bathroom trips w/diarreah, about a week after that it became the flare from HELL!!! I was going 25+ times a day/night, did not sleep, horrible cramping, blood and mucous, urgency. I basically could only go to work for the next month, I had to miss major family/friend events. I finally got it under control w/cipro and hydrocortisone e's. I believe doing that turned my proctosigmoiditis - meaning my UC only affected the first 11cm of my colon to giving me Pan-Colitis which now affects my whole colon.

not saying this will happen to her but this is EXACTLY what happened to me.

In retrospect.........I would try to taper off the Asacol first and see if symptoms start to return. Also, not sure where her UC is located but if it is only in the rectum area, what if she just does Rowasa, I don't think that would enter the blood stream as much???? Worth it to ask, I think.....

HTH, let us know how it goes!
Beth, 32 ~ hoping to taper pred successfully, wish me luck!
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 10mg 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Tekturna 300mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!

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