tips for Taking medicine

Concientiously taking your medicine is key to getting and staying well.

Don’t delay, fill your prescription

It may seem obvious but it is important to take your prescription to a pharmacy and get your medicine as soon as possible, so you can start taking it as soon as possible. 

Learn about your medicine

You can discuss your medicine with your doctor and/or pharmacist. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Commonly prescribed medicines have written information called Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) available. CMI contain information about what your medicine is, what it treats and how you should take it. It also provides information on possible side effects and what you should do if you experience any of them. Your doctor and pharmacist can provide the CMI to you, or you can access it yourself by going to, search for the name of your medicine, and download a pdf of the CMI.

Many medicines come with a ‘package insert’. This is a leaflet which also provides information about the medication, in particular how to take it. Some pharmaceutical companies provide informational leaflets and other materials to support your use of their product. If available your doctor or pharmacist may have some or know how you can access them.

Take your medicine

To get the optimal benefit from your medicine it is important that you take it in accordance with your doctor’s instructions. This means at the right dose (quantity), at the frequency and for the length of time prescribed by your doctor. This will give you the best chance of getting your IBD under control.

It can be helpful to think of taking your medication as just another part of everyday life and to fit it in with your everyday life. Getting into a routine, like taking medicine at the same time everyday is a common way of doing this. Reminder notes put where they can be noticed, like on the bathroom mirror (note that it is not recommended to store medicines in the bathroom), or the fridge can be used. Some people set an alarm to remind them. Mobile phones can be useful for setting alarms, and with some phones more than one alarm can be programmed. Keeping a diary to plan when to take medication, and to check it off when taken, is another option. Find a method that works for you!

Some people find some medicines easier to take than others. For example some people find swallowing pills easier than others. For some people, the means of medicine delivery e.g. an enema or suppository delivered via the rectum may take a bit of getting used to. If you experience this you should not hesitate to seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist so you can feel comfortable and confident taking your medicine. There may be a specialised nurse in the clinical team providing for your care, such as an IBD nurse, who can be of great support for the practical aspects of taking medicines.

Keep taking your medicine, even if you feel well

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic diseases and depending on the severity of the disease, people need to take their medicines to both get well and once well, stay well. This means that people need to take medication for the long term.

After a while some people can get tired of taking their medicine, and may start to miss doses, or stop taking the medication altogether. If you begin to feel like this, it is important to consciously think about the good reasons why you are taking the medicines, that is, to get the best result from your medicine in terms of getting and staying well, and make a plan to get yourself ‘back on track’ with taking your medicine. This might include discussing your feelings with and getting support from your doctor or IBD nurse, or with a trusted family member or close friend. You may implement alternative methods to remind yourself, as discussed in the ‘take your medicine’ section of this webpage.


Don’t forget to refill your prescription or see your doctor for a new prescription before you run out of medicine. This will ensure there is no disruption to your medicine taking routine.

If you are travelling, make sure you have enough medicine for your journey, particularly if you are travelling overseas as you may not be able to get your medicine easily or at all in another country. 

Help is at hand

Doctors, pharmacists and nurses recognise that taking medicine in the long term can be a challenge for people and can offer support and advice to help you stay on track with taking your medicine.

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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.