Is Pentasa an immunosuppresive drug? I want to know because my brother has been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.

  • The generic name is mesalamine. You can find an answer within minutes through search engines.
    – Jan
    Aug 13, 2018 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


Pentasa is one brand name for a drug called mesalazine (or mesalamine). While immunosuppressant drugs are often used on the management of Crohn’s disease, this is not one of them. It is in a group of drugs called aminosalicylates (somewhat similar to aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but the mechanism of action is a little different).

It works through an anti-inflammatory effect on the walls of the bowel by inhibiting inflammatory compounds called prostaglandin E2 and leukotrienes. It can be administered orally or rectally, depending on the affected part of the bowel.

Here is a link to a useful advice leaflet about Crohn’s disease and its treatments.

Source: British National Formulary

  • 1
    Pentasa is mesalamine, not sulfasalazine.
    – Jan
    Aug 14, 2018 at 7:52
  • Thanks @Jan - I have edited the answer. I got the wrong name in my head when checking the BNF - not great for a doctor! :)
    – Chris
    Aug 14, 2018 at 8:00
  • OK, it's mesalaMine, if you don't mind.
    – Jan
    Aug 14, 2018 at 8:08
  • This might be a difference between countries and how generic drug names are used. It’s definitely mesalazine here in UK? Are you in US or Canada?
    – Chris
    Aug 14, 2018 at 8:09
  • OK, I see, both versions are used.
    – Jan
    Aug 14, 2018 at 8:10

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