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Sulfasalazine (also referred to by its brand name Salazopyrin) reduces inflammation in the joints, and decreases pain, swelling and stiffness.
Some people who take Sulfasalazine will start to notice results within a few weeks of starting the treatment, however, it may take around 12 weeks for sulfasalazine to have a full effect.
Sulfasalazine is a tablet that is usually taken every day. The number and time to take your tablet will be explained to you by your doctor. The tablet has a special coating which means it dissolves more slowly, passing beyond the stomach before releasing its contents. This can help reduce nausea and stomach irritation associated with other treatments.
You will need to have frequent blood tests for the first three months of taking the drug, followed by regular tests every three months, to monitor liver function and check for infections. You may also need an annual flu vaccination. Sulfasalazine may also turn your urine orange or dark yellow and your tears may be discoloured. This is nothing to worry about, however if you use extended wear contact lenses tell your doctor as they may develop an orange stain.
The information on this page is also available in our psoriatic arthritis - secondary care information sheet.