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Medications > Sulfasalazine > Sulfasalazine – pictopamphlet

SULFASALAZINE (Salazopyrin) [sul-fah-SALA-zeen]

How to use this medication

What is it

Sulfasalazine is a medication used to treat arthritis. While taking this medicine it is important to have your blood tests done and see your doctor on a regular basis.

Take it twice a day

Take your sulfasalazine in the morning with breakfast and at night before you go to bed.


Sulfasalazine comes in 500 mg tablets.  A common dose is 2 tablets in the morning and two tablets at night.  Your doctor will tell you the right dose for you.

Be patient

It will take 6 to 12 weeks for the sulfasalazine to work. It is important for you to keep taking the medicine.

What you need to do

Get regular blood tests

Have your blood tested TWO WEEKS AFTER YOU START THE MEDICINE THEN EVERY MONTH. This is important to
make sure sulfasalazine isn’t harming your liver, kidneys or affecting your blood counts.

Side effects & imprtant things to know

Nausea & feeling unwell

The most common side effect of sulfasalazine is nausea and feeling unwell. This can get better over time as you get used to the medication.

Skin rash

Sulfasalazine can cause a rash.  Stop the medicine and let your doctor know if you develop a rash.


Sulfasalazine can rarely cause headaches.

Sun sensitive

Sulfasalazine can sometimes make the skin more sensitive to the sun. Wear sunscreen.

When should I call my doctor

Please call if you need to stop

  • If you feel sick and want to stop
  • If you are concerned about any side effects
  • If you want to or have already stopped the medicine

Other Reasons to Call your Doctor:


Pregnant or Planning Pregnancy

Other important information

Stopping Sulfasalazine

You can simply stop taking sulfasalazine. You do not need to wean off it. Please call your doctor if you stop the medication.