Pentasa Tablets

Pentasa tablets is a medicine that treats mild to moderate Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Pentasa tablets are a prescription medicine containing mesalazine (also known as 5-aminosalicylic acid or 5-ASA), that work by coming into direct contact with the inflamed tissue in the small and large bowels and calming down the inflammation.

Pentasa Tablets are made up of small granules (about 1mm in diameter) called microgranules that contain mesalazine. The microgranules are pressed together with the help of tabletting materials to form a tablet.

When the tablet is swallowed it breaks down in the stomach. The microgranules then start their journey through both the small bowel and large bowel to the rectum, releasing mesalazine continuously as they go (called prolonged release),15 and calming down the inflammation, right where its needed.

Pentasa Tablets can be relied on to deliver mesalazine to the inflamed parts of the small and large bowel because the release of mesalazine from the microgranules is not affected by intestinal acidity1,17 and is minimally affected by diarrhoea16.

For people who have narrowing in the bowels (stricture) the microgranules are so small they can travel through without getting stuck.


Pentasa microgranules travel through the small bowel and large bowel to the rectum.
Pentasa tablets deliver mesalazine directly to the inflamed tissue of the small and large bowel, right where it is needed to calm down inflammation. 

How to take Pentasa Tablets

Pentasa tablets can be swallowed whole or taken dispersed in water.

Pentasa tablets can be swallowed whole with a glass of water or, for those who have difficulty swallowing whole tablets, Pentasa tablets may be placed in a glass of water (at least 50mls) and allowed to disperse into the granules before being taken.

Stir rapidly and swallow all the granules (do not chew the granules).

As Pentasa tablets are made up of prolonged release microgranules it is important that the tablet is not cut, crushed, or chewed.

Always use your medicines as prescribed and seek advice from your doctor, IBD nurse or pharmacist if you need it so you can feel comfortable and confident taking Pentasa tablets.

 How to use the tablets 


FAQ About Pentasa tablets

What effect do Pentasa tablets have on fertility?

Pentasa tablets have no known effect on male or female fertility.

Can I take Pentasa tablets if I am pregnant?

Immediately tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while taking Pentasa. In general treatment continues as if one is not pregnant, but your doctor will need to discuss your specific requirements with you.

Can I use Pentasa tablets if I am breastfeeding?

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or are about to breastfeed an infant. In general mesalazine based medicines are not incompatible with breastfeeding but your doctor will need to discuss your specific situation with you. Report any unwanted effects immediately to your doctor.

How long do I continue taking Pentasa tablets?

Your doctor may advise you to continue taking your treatment even if you feel well to avoid relapse of your condition. Discuss this and appropriate doses with your doctor.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Pentasa tablets?

Take it as soon as you remember or if it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose but go back to your normal schedule. If unsure, contact your doctor.

What precautions should I take while on Pentasa tablets?

If your symptoms, including diarrhoea, do not improve within two weeks, contact your doctor. If they become worse, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to salicylates i.e. aspirin preparations.

Can elderly people use Pentasa tablets?

Yes, elderly can use Pentasa using similar doses to adult doses for the treatment of active disease or maintenance therapy.

What are the effects of using Pentasa tablets for a long period of time?

Long term use of Pentasa is indicated for both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. You should discuss a long term strategy, including diet, with your doctor.

Will I get side effects?

Even at doses of up to 4g/day Pentasa is well tolerated2-8. However unwanted effects can occur with any medicine. A list of possible side effects and what to do should you experience any of them is contained in the Pentasa tablets Consumer Medicine Information available at

How should Pentasa tablets be correctly stored?

Keep in original foil blister until ready to take. If you want to take some with you, the foil strip can be cut with scissors.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store  below 25°C. Keep in original container, protected from light.

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Pentasa Tablets 500mg, Pentasa Enema 1g/100 ml, Pentasa Suppository 1g, Pentasa Granules (Sachets) 1g.

The information provided in this website is not intended to replace advice given by your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your health and or treatments please consult a doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. Consult your doctor to see if this medicine is right for you.

Important Consumer Information

Do not use Pentasa if you have an allergy to any medicine containing mesalazine or aspirin-like medicines, or to any of Pentasa's ingredients. Do not use Pentasa if you have a severe kidney or liver problem. Pentasa should be used with caution during pregnancy and lactation.Side effects:All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious but most of the time they are not. Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.Common side effects include: headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, rash. For enemas and suppositories also any pain or itching of the anus or rectum, rectal discomfort and urge to have a bowel movement.Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of these side effects and they worry you. The following list includes serious side effects which may need medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following: bruising easily, unusual bleeding (e.g. nosebleeds), or frequent signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat and mouth ulcers; muscle aches and pains; painful joints; severe upper stomach pain; chest pain, sometimes spreading to the neck and shoulders, or with fever; yellowing of the skin/eyes, increased sensitivity of your skin to sun and ultraviolet light; worsening of your condition. The following list includes very serious side effects that may need urgent medical attention. These side effects are very rare. If you notice any of the following, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital: Sudden signs of allergic reactions such as rash, shortness of breath, swelling of limbs, face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty swallowing or breathing. Severe stomach cramps and/or pain, bloody diarrhoea, fever and severe headache. Rash with severe blisters and bleeding of the eyes, mouth, lips, nose and genitals. This website does not contain all the consumer medicines information. For full consumer medicines information, please refer to or your pharmacist. Always read the label. Use strictly as directed. If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your doctor, pharmacist or health professional.

Pentasa Tablets 500mg, Suppositories 1g, Enemas 1g/100 ml,and Granules (Sachets) 1g are funded prescription medicines. Doctor's charges will apply.