If you have ulcerative colitis (UC), your doctor might suggest Pentasa as a treatment option. It’s a prescription drug used in adults to:

  • treat mildly to moderately active UC (periods of flare-ups when the disease is active and causing a lot of symptoms)
  • induce remission of UC

The active ingredient in the capsule is mesalamine. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work. It is part of a group of drugs called aminosalicylates.

This article describes the dosage of Pentasa, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Pentasa, see this in-depth article.

Note: The chart below highlights the basics of Pentasa’s dosage. Be sure to read on for more detail.

The schedule for UC treatment is changed every few years.

Pentasa form Pentasa strengths Typical daily dosage Typical dosing regimen/schedule
extended-release capsules · 250 milligram (mg)
· 500 mg
4,000 mg per day 1,000 mg taken four times per day

Please keep in mind that this article covers Pentasa’s standard dosage schedule, which is provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But always follow the dosing instructions your doctor prescribes.

The standard dosage of Pentasa is listed below.

What is Pentasa’s form?

The capsule is called Pentasa. The capsule has a coating that will keep the drug from breaking down until it reaches your colon. This helps the drug work in the right place.

What strengths does Pentasa come in?

The capsule has two strengths: 250 and 500.

What are the usual dosages of Pentasa?

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

The usual dosage for treating ulcerative colitis (UC) and for inducing remission of UC is 4,000 mg per day.

You will take two to four Pentasa capsule four times daily.

  • You will take four capsule per dose if you are taking the 250-mg capsule.
  • You will take two capsule per dose if you take the 500-mg capsule.

This is the usual starting and maintenance dosage for treatment. A maintenance dose is the amount of drug you need to take for a long time to effectively treat your condition.

It is best to take your doses at the same time each day. You should continue taking the prescribed dose as long as your doctor recommends.

Is Pentasa used long term?

It is usually used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor agree that it is safe and effective for your condition, you will likely take it for a long time.

There are answers to some questions about the drug.

How long does the recommended dosage of Pentasa take to work for ulcerative colitis?

Pentasa starts working to reduce inflammation in your bowel right away. But it may take a few weeks before your symptoms improve.

The dosage that has been studied the most is 4,000 milligrams (mg) per day. This is the dosage that was found to be safe and helpful for induction of remission and the treatment of mildly to moderately active ulcerative colitis (UC).

What is the dosage of Pentasa for treating Crohn’s?

There is no recommended dosage for treating Crohn’s disease because Pentasa isn’t used to treat this condition. Pentasa is currently only approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat UC.

Like UC, Crohn’s is a kind of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both conditions affect the lining of your bowel, but they can affect different parts of it. Symptoms may also be different for each disease.

It is possible to prescribe pedsa to treat a disease. Off-label use is when a drug is prescribed for a condition that is not approved to treat.

If you have Crohn’s disease and want to learn about treatment options for your condition, talk with your doctor.

You can take a capsule called Pentasa.

The usual dosage for treating ulcerative colitis (UC) is 4,000 milligrams (mg) per day. For this dosage, you’ll take two to four Pentasa capsules four times a day, usually as follows:

  • Four capsule per dose is what you will take if you are prescribed the 250-mg capsule.
  • You will take two capsule per dose if you are prescribed the 500-mg capsule.

This is the usual starting and maintenance dose. Maintenance dosage is the amount of drug you need to take for a long time to effectively treat your condition.

It is best to take your doses at the same time each day. You should continue taking the prescribed dose as long as your doctor recommends.

You should swallow the whole capsule. You can open the capsule and sprinkle it on the yogurt or applesauce. You should eat the entire contents of the capsule.

If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. (These tips may be helpful in case you don’t have applesauce or yogurt to mix with your capsule contents.)

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Pentasa, see this article.

Accessible drug containers and labels

“If you can’t read the prescription label on your medication, you should tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies have labels for medication.”

  • Large print or use of blind.
  • You can use a code on a phone to change the text to sound.

“If your current pharmacy doesn’t offer accessibility features, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a new pharmacy.”

Let your pharmacist know if you have trouble opening bottles. They may be able to deliver it in a container. They may have tips to make it easier to open the drug container.

If you miss a dose, take it the next day. If you double up on your dose, you can increase your risk of side effects.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Pentasa on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

If you take more than your doctor prescribes, you can have serious side effects.

Symptoms of overdose

There are symptoms caused by an overdose.

What to do in case you take too much Pentasa

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Pentasa. It’s also important to drink a lot of fluids. Water or sports drinks such as Gatorade or Pedialyte are best. These will help correct your body’s fluid and electrolyte balance and help with your kidney function.

You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

The drug manufacturer gives the usual dosage. If your doctor recommends it, they will prescribe the correct amount of Pentasa.

Remember, you shouldn’t change your dosage of Pentasa without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Pentasa exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask:

  • “Should my dose be changed if I don’t like the way Pentasa is working?”
  • Is there any drugs I should not take if I take Pentasa?
  • Does my dose of Pentasa need to be changed if I take other drugs with it?
  • Is a different dosage going to increase my risk of side effects?
  • If I have a history of kidney or liver problems, can I take Pentasa?

For advice from others living with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis, join the Bezzy IBD community. To get news on treatments and tips for managing your condition, sign up for Healthline’s IBD newsletter.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.