I have to wonder if all these side effects are really caused by the Asacol. My understanding is that Asacol is basically just aspirin (non-steroid anti-inflammatory) with a coating that keeps it from dissolving until it gets to the large colon. That's why if your colon is too active, sometimes it doesn't dissolve at all but goes right through, into the toilet! Talk about flushing money away...
I participated in the study for this drug in the late 1980s before it was approved, and they took note of everything I experienced, even if it likely was just caused by my disease or was caused by something else entirely. So I don't take lists of side effects too seriously. I think it is a very mild drug, really, it just gets through to the right place which isn't easy and makes it special.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day.
tapering OFF prednisone from lingering flare;
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free, soy-free, etc. diet which resolved flare. Also Replete probiotic, DGL (licorice root, slippery elm), Permeability Factors. Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for severe anemia.
Sept: Mild case of thrush in throat, prescribed antifungal mouthwash.