Working with your doctor

    A better doctor visit

    Do all your questions seem unimportant or embarrassing as soon as you get into the examination room? Getting the most effective treatment for your ulcerative colitis (UC) means making the most of your doctor visits. Preparing for your visit might help you bring up even tough subjects with your doctor.

    To help you talk to your doctor, download our doctor discussion guide and our UC symptom tracker.

    People with UC are often embarrassed by their illness and don't want to talk about it. This can cause a communication gap between patient and doctor.

    A study of patients with UC and doctors helps illustrate just how patient perceptions differ from those of their physicians.

    • 34% of respondents said that sometimes they did not want to tell their doctors about flare-ups, and 27% reported they discussed fewer than half of their flare-ups with their doctors
    • Patients with UC reported they had an average of 8 flare-ups per year. Gastroenterologists who participated in the survey said that 3 flare-ups per year were typical among their patients
    • Only 21% of patients said they felt they had their UC completely or mostly under control, while gastroenterologists reported they thought that number was closer to 48%
    • While gastroenterologists believed that about 28% of patients felt living with UC was a daily struggle, in reality, it is 61%, as reported by patients
    • Additionally, 84% of patients said they worry about the long-term health effects of UC

    Doctors understand symptoms. Try these tips and conversation starters to make sure you are effectively communicating your needs with your medical professional.

    Write it down

    • Make a list of your most important questions or concerns—especially those difficult-to-ask or embarrassing ones—and prioritize them. Having your questions written down will make them easier to ask
    • Bring a list of all your medications and supplements, including vitamins, over-the-counter remedies, and prescriptions
    • Even if you have become used to your symptoms and try to think of them as no big deal, your doctor needs to know about them. It is common for patients with UC to underreport their symptoms, but telling your doctor about all of your symptoms is crucial to your treatment plan
    • Bring your symptom tracker. This simple tool will help you have a real picture of your condition to give your doctor everything he or she needs to know about your symptoms
    • Bring a notepad and pen to take notes during your appointment

    Bring it up

    • The answers you get depend on the questions you ask. Whether it is about your diagnosis, prognosis, side effects, managing your symptoms, or diet and exercise that might affect your UC, your questions could hold the key to the most effective treatment for you. For example, you might want to ask:
      • Are there any medications that I can take once a day?
      • Are there ulcerative colitis medications that I can take with or without food?

    Review

    • Repeat back to your doctor some of the key points from the visit. It will help you both clarify things and make sure you have not gotten confused

    Take action

    • Make sure you understand what you should do when you leave the doctor's office—such as taking your medication as prescribed. Even make a note of when you should follow up with your doctor
    • Do not leave the office without a clear understanding of the potential side effects of your medication and what warning signs you need to look out for
    * 
    • This APRISO Instant Savings Card is only valid for patients 18 years of age or older with commercial insurance, including commercially insured patients without coverage for APRISO. Patients without commercial insurance are not eligible. This offer is not valid for any person eligible for reimbursement of prescriptions, in whole or in part, by any federal, state, or other governmental programs, including, but not limited to, Medicare (including Medicare Advantage and Part A, B, and D plans), Medicaid, TRICARE, Veterans Administration or Department of Defense health coverage, CHAMPUS, or the Puerto Rico Government Health Insurance Plan. Eligible insured patients with coverage for APRISO pay a $0 co-pay for their initial prescription, and eligible insured patients without coverage for APRISO pay a $0 out-of-pocket expense. Salix Pharmaceuticals will pay the remaining co-pay/out-of-pocket expense up to the maximum amount of $110 for the first fill. For each subsequent use, the patient pays the initial $10, with a maximum benefit of $100. Maximum benefits apply. Maximum benefits are as follows: initial prescription/$110, for 1 use total for a calendar year, and for each subsequent prescription/$100, for 1 use per month for a calendar year. Salix Pharmaceuticals reserves the right to rescind, revoke, or amend this offer at any time without notice.

    INDICATION

    APRISO® (mesalamine) extended-release capsules are indicated for the maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis in patients 18 years of age and older.

    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.

    • 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.