Fighting ulcerative colitis flares

Medication is key

Unfortunately, living with ulcerative colitis (UC) means that you will experience flares from time to time. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything you can do to reduce the impact flares have on your life.

An important way of managing UC is to seek effective treatment. And taking the medication as directed by your doctor will give you a chance of controlling your symptoms.

Here are tips to help you stay on track with your treatment:

  • Create a schedule: Taking your medication should be a part of your daily routine. Try to take medications at the same times each day so that it becomes automatic for you.
  • Check your supply: Be sure your prescription is up to date and that you have enough medication on hand.
  • Plan ahead: If you are going to travel, be sure to take a copy of your prescription with you in case you need to refill your medication during the trip.
  • Reminders can help: There are many tools available to help you remember to take your medication. Utilize diaries, smartphone apps, and other tools to remind you when it's time to take your medicine.
  • Chart your progress: Keep track of when you take your medication as well as any symptoms you experience so you can share your progress with your doctor.

Work closely with your doctor

Speak with your doctor to create a treatment plan that's right for you. If you're not satisfied with your current treatment, be sure to ask your doctor about other options.

To get the most out of your meeting, prepare a list of questions or topics that you want to discuss. The following are examples of things you can bring up during your visit:

  • Discuss your symptoms. Ask what might be causing your symptoms and when you can expect them to go away.
  • Track your diet. In the days leading up to your doctor visit, record what you eat and drink. Make a note of how it affects you. Then bring this food diary with you to help your doctor figure out what may be causing some of your symptoms.
  • Provide a list of all your medications, vitamins, and supplements. Your doctor will need to know about these before you begin treatment.
  • Make plans to follow up. Ask your doctor how he or she will monitor your progress, and when you should plan to come in for another visit.
  • Learn to manage stress. Though it's not the cause of flare-ups, it's been shown to make them worse. Tell your doctor about any recent life events. Your doctor can recommend strategies that will help you better manage life's daily hassles.

Take notes during your visit. Even when you're engaged in a talk with your doctor, it's difficult to remember everything your doctor said after leaving the office. Bring a pen and paper to your visit and take a moment to write down what your doctor is saying.

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  • See More Important Risk Information

    What is DELZICOL?

    DELZICOL® (mesalamine) delayed-release capsules is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of mildly to moderately active ulcerative colitis (UC) in patients 5 years of age and older and for the maintenance of remission of UC in adults.


    Do not take DELZICOL if you are:

    • Allergic to salicylates or aminosalicylates, such as aspirin or medications that contain aspirin
    • Allergic to any of the ingredients of DELZICOL

    Before taking DELZICOL, tell your doctor if you:

    • Have or have had kidney problems
    • Are allergic to sulfasalazine
    • Have or have had heart-related allergic reactions, such as inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or inflammation of the lining of the heart (pericarditis)
    • Take any iron-containing supplements
    • Have or have had liver problems
    • Have or have had a stomach blockage
    • Are pregnant, nursing, or are planning to become pregnant or to breastfeed
    • Have any other medical conditions

    Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Taking DELZICOL with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may cause kidney problems. Taking DELZICOL with azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine may cause blood problems. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if you are taking one of these medicines. Your doctor may do certain tests during treatment with DELZICOL.

    What are the possible side effects of DELZICOL?

    DELZICOL may cause serious side effects, including:

    • Kidney Problems. Your doctor may check to see how your kidneys are working before taking DELZICOL.
    • Acute Intolerance Syndrome and Other Allergic Reactions. Some people who use DELZICOL can have allergic-type reactions, including acute intolerance syndrome. Other allergic reactions can cause heart problems, including an inflammation of the sac around the heart (pericarditis), blood problems, and problems with other organs in the body, such as the kidneys, liver, and lungs. When this happens, it is usually in people who have had an allergic reaction to sulfasalazine. Stop using DELZICOL and tell your doctor right away if you get any of these symptoms: cramping, stomach (abdominal) pain, bloody diarrhea, fever, headache, chest pain, a decrease in the amount of your urine, shortness of breath, eye inflammation, fatigue, and rash.
    • Liver Failure. This can happen in people who have a history of liver problems and have taken other medicines that contain mesalamine. Tell your doctor right away if you get any of these symptoms while using DELZICOL: yellowing of your eyes, itchy skin, feeling very tired, flu-like symptoms, nausea, or vomiting.
    • Serious Skin Reactions. Some people who use DELZICOL can have severe skin reactions. Stop using DELZICOL and tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following signs or symptoms of a severe skin reaction, including blisters or peeling of your skin, mouth sores, blisters on your lips or around your mouth or eyes, high fever or flu-like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, or skin rash.
    • Sun Sensitivity. DELZICOL can make your skin sensitive to the sun if you have skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and atopic eczema. Try to limit your time in the sun. You should use sunscreen and wear a hat and clothes that cover your skin if you have to be in the sunlight.
    • Kidney Stones. Drink plenty of fluids when using DELZICOL to decrease your chance of getting kidney stones. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms: severe pain in your side or your back or blood in your urine.

    The most common side effects of DELZICOL include:

    • Adults: belching, stomachache, constipation, dizziness, runny nose, back pain, rash, upset stomach, and flu symptoms.
    • Children (5 to 17 years of age): inflammation of the nose and pharynx, headache, stomachache, dizziness, inflammation of the sinuses, rash, cough, diarrhea, tiredness, fever, and increased lipase.

    Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of DELZICOL.

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    If you are having difficulty paying for your medicine, AbbVie may be able to help. Visit to learn more.

    Please see full Prescribing Information for DELZICOL.

    The product information provided on this site is intended only for residents of the United States. The products discussed on this site may have different product labeling outside of the United States.

    The health information described on this site is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for discussions with a healthcare provider.