About Pentasa

Using Pentasa Tablets to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Pentasa tablets are a prescription medicine that treat mild to moderate Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Pentasa tablets are made up of tiny granules called microgranules that contain mesalazine (also known as 5-aminosalicylic acid or 5-ASA).  Mesalazine is an anti-inflammatory agent and is thought to work by reducing inflammation in the bowel.

When the Pentasa tablet is swallowed it breaks down in the stomach. The microgranules then start their journey through both the small and large bowel to the rectum, releasing mesalazine continuously as they go (called prolonged release), treating the inflammation. 

How to take Pentasa Tablets

  • Swallow the Pentasa tablets whole without chewing or crushing. 
  • You can also place the tablets in 50mL of cold water, stir rapidly and drink immediately.
  • Do not cut, crush or chew the Pentasa tablets.

Follow all directions given to you by your Doctor or Pharmacist carefully.

If you do not understand the instructions on the packaging, ask your Doctor or Pharmacist for help.

Further information about Pentasa Tablets

For further information about this medicine please refer to the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI).  The CMI contains 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 on the Medsafe website, www.medsafe.govt.nz.

Questions and Answers

  • Your Doctor will weigh up the risks and benefits, and assess the suitability of Pentasa, before prescribing for you.

    If you have any questions about taking Pentasa ask your Doctor or Pharmacist.

  • If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking Pentasa as you would normally. If you are not sure what to do, ask your Doctor or Pharmacist.

    If you have trouble remembering to take Pentasa ask your Pharmacist for some hints.

  • Unwanted side effects can occur with any medicine. Contact your Doctor if you experience any side effects when taking Pentasa.

  • Keep your Pentasa in the packaging until it is time to take your next dose. If you take Pentasa out of the packaging it may not keep well. Keep your Pentasa in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.

    Refer to the CMI for further information.


  • NZ datasheet
  • Pentasa Tablet CMI
  • Pentasa Tablet Pack Insert