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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » 5-ASA/Mesalamine » Asacol discontinued


 
04-07-2013, 04:31 PM   #1
nogutsnoglory
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Asacol discontinued

If you take Asacol, please note it has been discontinued. Whatever drugs you have left are the last you will have.

Asacol HD (800mg) is still available and a new drug (same as regular Asacol at 400mg except in capsule form) will replace the existing.

See my post on the news forum about the new drug Delzicol: http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=49761

If you take this drug please call your doctor even if you have refills. From what I understand its off the shelves at pharmacies.

Edit: Here is a direct link: http://www.ashp.org/DrugShortages/No...n.aspx?id=1017

This is right off the Asacol website - http://www.asacol.com/index.jsp

You should not substitute one Asacol HD 800mg tablet for two Asacol 400mg tablets unless directed by your doctor
http://www.asacolhd.com/pdfs/AsacolH...ribingInfo.pdf

Last edited by Jennifer; 04-08-2013 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Consolidated info
04-07-2013, 05:45 PM   #2
Cross-stitch gal
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When did this happen? I am no longer on Asacol. But, this is interesting. Hopefully it doesn't leave anyone on here in a tough spot...
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04-07-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
nogutsnoglory
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The FDA approved the new drug on Friday. I can't imagine they pulled Asacol off the shelves before the alternative was available. From what I understand a prescription called in now will be denied but maybe they will honor the refill for a few days.

The main thing is anyone on it needs to get their doctors to prescribe Asacol HD as a half dose or get the new drug.
04-07-2013, 09:55 PM   #4
Sarah50
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If you take Asacol, please note it has been discontinued. Whatever drugs you have left are the last you will have.

Asacol HD (800mg) is still available and a new drug (same as regular Asacol at 400mg except in capsule form) will replace the existing.

See my post on the news forum about the new drug Delzicol: http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=49761

If you take this drug please call your doctor even if you have refills. From what I understand its off the shelves at pharmacies.
Noguts, do you have a link to any article that states Asacol is now off of the market??

But if Asacol HD is still available, that means I take 1 pill, 3 times a day instead of 2 pills, 3 times a day.
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04-07-2013, 10:20 PM   #5
nogutsnoglory
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I don't I'm sorry. This was said by one of the experts at an IBD conference I attended. It's possible some GI's won't be aware of the change until pharmacies no longer fill the prescription.
04-07-2013, 10:25 PM   #6
Sarah50
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Did the expert say why Asacol 400 ml was being discontinued? There must be a reason.... ??? Hmm.....
04-07-2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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They didn't say why but my guess is so the pharmaceutical company can find a new way to charge an arm and a leg.
04-07-2013, 11:55 PM   #8
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Ohhhh no. Something else to worry about. Thanks for the info. At least I have to time to think about what to do.
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04-08-2013, 05:45 AM   #9
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Im assuming it is being discontinued as the patency is running out this year (so Ive read) thus cheaper generic drugs will be coming onto the market
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04-08-2013, 05:54 AM   #10
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I take Asacol HD so I am okay for now. I hope that there will be a cheaper, generic form of Asacol on the market for everyone who needs it. However, I am very suspicious. This new drug, Delzicol, is made by the same company that made Asacol and they are both 5 ASA meslesemane (sp?) drugs.
04-08-2013, 10:02 AM   #11
araceli
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Found it! www.ashp.org
04-08-2013, 10:07 AM   #12
nogutsnoglory
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Thanks! Here is a direct link: http://www.ashp.org/DrugShortages/No...n.aspx?id=1017
04-08-2013, 12:02 PM   #13
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Does anyone know if there is a difference between the Asacol 400 and the Asacol HD besides the 400 mg vs 800 mg? Since it seems to be working for me, I'd rather not change and just get the HD - which means I would take 1 pill three times a day instead of 2 pills three times a day... right?

Thanks.
04-08-2013, 12:13 PM   #14
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!!! I take the Asacol 400 mg and I hadn't heard this! I see my GI in a couple weeks so I will definitely be asking him to switch me to either the HD or that new drug. In the meantime, I guess I will have to do some research on both, because like Sarah50 said, I'm not aware if there are big differences between the 400 and the HD. And I know nothing about this new med, this is the first I'm hearing about it. This seems so sudden, you would think my pharmacist would have said something when I refilled my Asacol a little while ago? I do need to go to the pharmacy today anyway so I think I'll be asking some questions.

Thanks NGNG for the info! I printed that link and will be showing it to the pharmacist and my GI.
04-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #15
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I think it is terrible that there was no prior warning. The new one being a capsule might affect the delivery mechanism. I don't know enough about it or HD since I never took this drug.
04-08-2013, 01:48 PM   #16
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Thanks NGNG. I also take Asacol and was not aware. Supposed to call my GI tomorrow for a follow-up. I will make sure he knows too!
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04-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #17
Cross-stitch gal
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Took this info into my pharmacy yesterday. They said that they knew that they no longer were stocking the asacol 400 but, didn't know much more. My guess is that this is a sudden change on everybody.
04-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #18
Cat-a-Tonic
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I just talked to my pharmacist, and he wasn't too sure of things. He said he thinks that he can just switch me to the 800 HD without my GI writing a new prescription, but he wasn't totally sure. He said he'd research it and will get back to me. I think I'm going to email my GI now and get his thoughts. I see him in a couple weeks but I will be running out of Asacol 400 around that time and don't want to be too last-minute with this stuff.
04-08-2013, 03:29 PM   #19
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This is right off the Asacol website - http://www.asacol.com/index.jsp

You should not substitute one Asacol HD 800mg tablet for two Asacol 400mg tablets unless directed by your doctor
http://www.asacolhd.com/pdfs/AsacolH...ribingInfo.pdf
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04-08-2013, 03:32 PM   #20
nogutsnoglory
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Thanks Paso. I definitely think it would be unwise to just start a different formulation without talking to the doctor.

Can I just say how much big pharma sucks! Ok off my needle meds disposal soap box.
04-08-2013, 03:43 PM   #21
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Huh, interesting. The pharmacist made it sound like Asacol 800 vs 400 are pretty much the same thing. But apparently not quite! I emailed my GI to get his thoughts. I wonder if he's being inundated with calls & emails from other Asacol patients who are freaking out too. Pretty glad I have an appointment in a couple of weeks so I can discuss this in person!
04-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #22
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Now that I think about it...I wondered why Asacol didn't have a detailed web site the other day...there was only one for Asacol HD. It all makes sense now. And from the sound of the Asacol HD web site your doc will have to readjust your dosage.
04-08-2013, 03:59 PM   #23
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You can buy the ASACOL GENERIC from any Canadian Pharmacy.
Been buying it for a year. My daughter who takes it
say's it works better than name brand. and alot cheaper.
It is made by Sun Pharma the same company that will be selling it at Walgreens
04-08-2013, 04:07 PM   #24
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I just did some googling on Delzicol, that new mesalamine drug that's replacing Asacol. I thought this was particularly relevant info: "Drug interactions: Azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine: blood disorders have been reported." So if anyone is on Aza/imuran or 6MP, this new mesalamine is apparently not for you.

I got that info here:
http://www.wcrx.com/pdfs/pi/pi_delzicol.pdf

Edited to add: It also says "Dose at least 1 h before or 2 h after a meal." I have always been told to take my Asacol with food, so if I have to switch to this new med, it's going to throw off my whole schedule. I've grown so accustomed to "eating = take Asacol".
04-08-2013, 04:16 PM   #25
CrohnsChicago
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Well apparently this isn't for me....lol

Thank you Cat for sharing that info and the link! Looks like me and my GI have some discussing to do....

I just did some googling on Delzicol, that new mesalamine drug that's replacing Asacol. I thought this was particularly relevant info: "Drug interactions: Azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine: blood disorders have been reported." So if anyone is on Aza/imuran or 6MP, this new mesalamine is apparently not for you.

I got that info here:
http://www.wcrx.com/pdfs/pi/pi_delzicol.pdf

Edited to add: It also says "Dose at least 1 h before or 2 h after a meal." I have always been told to take my Asacol with food, so if I have to switch to this new med, it's going to throw off my whole schedule. I've grown so accustomed to "eating = take Asacol".
04-08-2013, 04:22 PM   #26
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This doesn't affect me personally but I am angry about it. This pharmaceutical company knew that its patent was runnning out so they basically changed its name to keep the patent going. Asacol was not cheap and I am sure that people were hoping to get the generic version of it. I bet Delzicol will be even more expensive than Asacol.
04-08-2013, 04:33 PM   #27
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You're right that it's expensive, kh216! With insurance I pay $75 a month for Asacol. Without insurance, I believe it'd be over $500 (going by memory, don't have the info in front of me). I just looked it up, and with my insurance I'd also be paying $75 per month if I switched to Delzicol. It looks like it'd be the same cost for Asacol HD too. So at least I won't be paying any more, but I sure would like to pay less as $75 each month is not cheap. (I also take Nexium, Ranitidine, and Amitriptyline - and generic Zofran as needed - so with those added in I pay over $100 each month just for prescriptions).
04-08-2013, 05:50 PM   #28
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You're right that it's expensive, kh216! With insurance I pay $75 a month for Asacol. Without insurance, I believe it'd be over $500 (going by memory, don't have the info in front of me). I just looked it up, and with my insurance I'd also be paying $75 per month if I switched to Delzicol. It looks like it'd be the same cost for Asacol HD too. So at least I won't be paying any more, but I sure would like to pay less as $75 each month is not cheap. (I also take Nexium, Ranitidine, and Amitriptyline - and generic Zofran as needed - so with those added in I pay over $100 each month just for prescriptions).
Cat - call Walmart and ask how much they will charge with whatever you switch to - Asacol HD or the new one. I pay $30 a month for Asacol at Walmart (after paying a $180 deductible the first of the year).
04-09-2013, 05:46 AM   #29
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My son's been on the 800mg Asacol for over two years now. We went to pick up our script once and they gave us the 800mgs instead of 400. When asked, our GI said it was no different than two 400s. There's been no trouble with it.

@Cat…if Asacol is working for you now, I'd push to switch to the 800's. If it ain't broke...
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04-09-2013, 09:11 AM   #30
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Thanks Mark. I'm going to check with my GI to be sure and to get his thoughts. I do have slight issues with the Asacol 400s - sometimes I pass them undigested. With my severe GERD, the more reflux meds I take, the more Asacol I pass. It needs a certain pH to break down, and if I mess with my stomach acid too much then I just can't seem to break down Asacol. So I am somewhat intrigued by this new Asacol replacement med because it's a capsule, not a tablet. I've heard others on the forum say that they pass Asacol undigested but can break down Pentasa just fine (Asacol's a tablet and Pentasa is a capsule), so maybe capsules in general are easier to digest. My GI knows I've had some issues with passing Asacol undigested so I want to hear his thoughts on the new capsule drug.
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