Will Asacol alone get me into remission?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 2/5/2009 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I thought I'd ask a more direct question regarding Asacol and remission than I did below.  I've copied and pasted my first post so that you have it for reference.
Anyway, is there a chance that the Asacol will get me into remission by itself, or is it more likely that I'll have to add in another med?  I'd love to hear what's worked for other people.  Another thing I noted (as a reply to my first post) is that my doctor didn't say whether or not I have mild, moderate, or severe pancolitis.  Like I said below, I'm having a lot of bloody D with urgency, but no pain, cramping, fever, etc. 
Hi everyone.
I was diagnosed with ulcerative pancolitis after a colonoscopy last week.  I have never had any symptoms of colitis prior to this.  I'm 30 years old and had my first child in October 2008.  I've basically been flaring since about 4 weeks after my son was born.  I guess I managed a brief remission in December as my symptoms got much better for about 3 weeks (still not normal, but definitely manageable).  My GP originally thought my symptoms were due to postpartum anxiety as I was definitely having problems in that area, too.  After I started Zoloft, things got better.  However, I was also taking probiotics, so that might explain why I got a bit better.
Anyway, the diarrhea came back in early January and I started seeing a GI.  After some testing to rule out infectious causes, he did the colonoscopy.  I've had blood in my stool, but no real pain or cramping, which seems a bit odd to me, especially considering I have pancolitis.  When I saw him last week on Friday, he prescribed Flagyl (the nausea was terrible, so I quit taking that) and Asacol (12 pills/day). 
By Monday, the bleeding had slowed somewhat, I was having fewer BMs/day than at my worst, and the urgency had declined.  However, things haven't gotten any better since then, and I'm still having about 10 BMs/day. 
I see him again tomorrw and think I'll ask about adding another medication in.  Any thoughts? 

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16744
   Posted 2/5/2009 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
It really helped me when I started taking it, within a few weeks I didn't see any blood or mucus in my stool. Now after about a month or a month and a half, I have blood and things are a lot less consistent. I hope it improves again, seems like I flared badly with my period and now I am not in the best shape. Maybe you will have better luck and it will keep you in remission.

Diagnosed with proctitis in March 2007 - Treated with Canasa 2x Daily
Diagnosed with UC December but had symptoms months ago - Treating with Asacol (feel hopeless)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16744
   Posted 2/5/2009 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Another thing that has helped me a lot is using suppositories. I have a prescription for Canasa and one for Asacol. When I started taking the Asacol, I figured I wouldn't need to use Canasa anymore. Canasa was prescribed by my previous GI and my new GI didn't even know I had it so I assumed I didn't need it. I found this board and I talked to a lot of people who said treating with rectal meds can really help improve your condition. I began using the Canasa at night and I noticed an improvement right away. Since it got worse again, I've been using the suppositories morning and evening and I do notice improvement but not as much as before. Maybe I just need to be patient.
I do recommend that you speak to your dr about some kind of rectal medication. Ask if there is the possibility that it will help you. When I first was diagnosed, I was only on rectal meds and I didn't have any pain, cramping or urgency, just a little blood. My UC was only in my rectum at that point. Even though I am not "normal", I am not nearly as bad as I was a few months ago when I was running to the bathroom 15x a day, cramping, up all night... Give it time and ask about suppositories if you aren't feeling better.

Diagnosed with proctitis in March 2007 - Treated with Canasa 2x Daily
Diagnosed with UC December but had symptoms months ago - Treating with Asacol (feel hopeless)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 2/5/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
2 Asacol twice a day + 1 Canasa at night time has been my remission dose. When I think a flare's coming (basically more frequent trips to the loo) I up to 6 Asacol twice a day (as instructed by my Dr) and it dies down again.

Basically Asacol seems to get me into remission - or rather, it stops a flare before it properly starts (before it gets to the stage where I can't pass gas without going to the bathroom, which is my line for where a flare is in full swing). I was flaring when first prescribed and it got me into remission then too.
Diagnosed November 2007
10cm moderate
Canasa 1000mg 2 per day, Asocol 2x2 per day, Digestive Advantage Crohns and Colitis probiotic, Animal Pak multivitamin, Aloe gel, concentrated fish oil

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 2/5/2009 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
For me, I've been only on asacol.  I'm doing much much better lately.  It took 3 weeks for it to slow down the action going on, then another 3 week after that to get me to the bathroom about 6 times/day by then.  Now i'm my 13th week of asacol and doing better.  bathroom breaks are about 1 or 2 times per day, some form to the b/m but no more blood for about two weeks. it seems so weird. and passing gas like normal people without the bathroom b/m movements.
i know i've mentioned this in a previous thread of mine and it will sound like kablooey but i've noticed a big difference since i started brushing my teeth with baking soda. it was more out of necessity as i ran out of toothpaste and kept forgetting to get some.  I also had no energy to make myself remember to get it, let alone making the effort to go the supermarket.  I could only go in real quick to get what i needed and then out again before i had to go the bathroom.  the supermarket of course has only one bathroom for customers, so i coudnt' chance on having to go to it and with my luck someone being in there.  anyway, i'm still using it as toothpaste maybe i'm just being superstituous but i'm going to keep using it. 
so that's my story for now.  hope you guys get better, it does take time.  i've learned a few little secrets to help with the burning sensation sometimes.  i would keep a pillow on the floor so it's cool and when i'd have a hot moment, especially on my left side, i would lay down, propped up with pillow and put the cool pillow on my stomach area and keep flipping it over to the cool side of the pillow or put it back onto the floor if it was too warm. This really helped to keep things cool a few times or as least keep my mind off the burning sensation.   
hope my one cent spiel helps.
44 yrs old, only 3rd experience with flare-up start oct29.08, Ont.Canada. was 140lbs now 118
current: asacol 400 mg - 2 4x/day
multi vitamin - prairie naturals multiforce - 1/day for sure or 2/day if I remember
last flare in 2004 with c-diff, went into shock, hospitalized 2 wks, rec'd transfusion
prednisone, asacol, metronidazole
in 2000 rec'd antibiotics(sinuses),c-diff,ulcerative colitis 

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 473
   Posted 2/8/2009 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Asacol and Rowasa(for a few weeks) helped tremendously when I was first diagnosed. The Asacol alone kept me in remission for years after that.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/9/2009 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
As I have found out over the last year, it all depends on the person.  I have tried asacol, colazol, immuran, remicade and of course prednisone during most of this time.  So far nothing has helped me.  I had a couple months of decent times with remicade but that recently and suddenly stopped working.  I'm still looking for the right medication.
My neighbor on the other hand takes a couple asacol a day and she is symptom free. 
I hope for your sake asacol is all it takes.  The bonus of just taking a mesalamine is it's the "safest" of all the meds out there.
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