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5-Aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) is an anti-inflammatory drug with a structural resemblance to phenacetin and is widely used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases. 5-ASA is the active constituent of sulphasalazine and sulphapyridine is its transport molecule. Some studies suggest that the serious adverse effects of the drug are in many cases due to sulphapyridine; however, at least in some patients, the adverse effects of sulphasalazine are attributable to 5-ASA itself.1 2 Pharmaceutical development has concentrated on delivering 5-ASA to the mucosa of the small intestine and colon using other inert carriers such as mesalazine. Blood dyscrasias, hepatitis, pancreatitis, pericarditis, pneumonitis and serious skin reactions have been …
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