Ulcerative colitis (UC): Possible causes and risk factors

    Shedding light on the possible causes of UC

    There are many factors associated with UC, but no definite cause. It affects males and females equally. Most people are diagnosed between their late teens and early 30s, but it can occur at any age.

    Ulcerative colitis may not be caused by stress, but many find that their anxiety over having the condition can worsen their symptoms. Another factor that may make symptoms worse is food. While it's not clear what relationship food has to UC, some patients believe that certain foods act as a trigger.

    But what exactly is UC? Most healthcare professionals think UC is a type of autoimmune reaction in which the immune system mistakes food, helpful bacteria, and other materials in the colon for harmful invaders. The result? The immune system sends white blood cells to attack substances in the colon, which causes inflammation and other symptoms of UC.

    Some possible UC risk factors include:

    • Family history—up to 20% of people with UC have an immediate relative with UC
    • Environmental factors—some research suggests that environmental factors, such as industrialization, urban settings, and northern geographical latitudes, may be related to differences in rates of UC
    • Ethnicity—there is a higher rate of UC among whites than non-whites, and Jewish people of Eastern European descent are also at greater risk

    Your doctor is your best source of information for anything you do not understand about your disease, so do not hesitate to ask about any subject relating to your condition.

    Bringing real answers to life

    While research continues to look for UC causes and a cure, treatment options are available to help manage symptoms. APRISO’s once-daily extended-release formula has been shown to be effective in helping adults maintain UC remission for up to 6 months.


    APRISO® (mesalamine) extended-release capsules are indicated for the maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis in adults.

    IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION—APRISO extended-release capsules

    • You should not take APRISO extended-release capsules if you experience an allergic reaction to salicylates or aminosalicylates, or to any of the components of APRISO capsules.

    • Kidney impairment has been reported in patients given products like APRISO (contain mesalamine or are converted to mesalamine). It is recommended that you have an evaluation of kidney function prior to treatment with APRISO therapy and periodically while on therapy. Talk to your doctor if you have any kidney problems before taking APRISO.

    • Mesalamine has been associated with an acute intolerance syndrome that may be difficult to distinguish from a flare of your ulcerative colitis. Symptoms include cramping, acute abdominal (stomach) pain and bloody diarrhea, sometimes fever, headache, and rash. Talk to your doctor if you experience a worsening of these problems after you start treatment.

    • If you have liver disease, talk to your doctor before taking APRISO. There have been reports of liver failure in patients with liver disease who have taken mesalamine.

    • If you have pre-existing skin conditions, wear protective clothing and use a broad spectrum sunscreen when outdoors to avoid sun exposure.

    • Drink plenty of fluids while taking APRISO to decrease the risk of developing kidney stones. Call your doctor if you have severe side or back pain or blood in the urine.

    • In the clinical studies, the most common side effects occurring in at least 3% of patients taking APRISO were headache, diarrhea, upper abdominal (stomach) pain, nausea, nasopharyngitis (inflammation of the nasal passages), flu and flu-like illness, and inflammation of the sinuses.

    • You should not take APRISO while taking antacids because the dissolving of APRISO granules depends on the acidity in your stomach.

    • If you are 65 years old or older, talk to your doctor before taking APRISO. Blood cell count must be monitored closely if you are 65 or older and on mesalamine therapy.

    • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), please be aware that each APRISO capsule contains aspartame equivalent to 0.56 mg of phenylalanine, so that the recommended adult dosing provides an equivalent of 2.24 mg of phenylalanine per day.

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch/ or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For product information, adverse event reports, and product complaint reports, please contact:
    Salix Product Information Call Center
    Phone: 1-800-508-0024
    Fax: 1-510-595-8183
    Email: salixmc@dlss.com

    Please click here for full Prescribing Information for APRISO extended-release capsules. OR Please see full Prescribing Information for APRISO extended-release capsules.