Apriso is a medication usually prescribed to patients suffering from a certain type of inflammatory bowel disease referred to as ulcerative colitis. As many as 1.6 million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, a condition that is common among individuals aged 35 years and younger. IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is characterized by gastrointestinal (GI) tract inflammation.

The drug contains an active compound called mesalamine and it falls under the category of medications known as aminosalicylates.

Aminosalicylates work by preventing inflammation in the colon and promoting the alleviation of symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis, including stomach pain, rectal bleeding, and diarrhea.

How Does Apriso Work

Apriso uses 3 mechanisms of action to treat ulcerative colitis effectively.

  • Inhibits the Production of Inflammatory Chemicals: The active ingredient mesalamine interferes with the production of inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which causes inflammation inside the colon. By inhibiting these chemicals’ release, Apriso helps reduce the inflammatory response and alleviate symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis.
  • Maintain Mucous Lining in the Colon: Apriso also aids in maintaining the integrity of the colon’s mucous lining, which protects against substances and bacteria. By reinforcing the mucosal lining, Apriso shields the colon from damage and promotes healing.
  • Has Antioxidant Properties: Apriso demonstrates antioxidant properties by effectively neutralizing harmful radicals in the colon that intensify inflammation and promote tissue damage. By counteracting their effect, Apriso reduces inflammation thus facilitating the healing process.

Precautions and Warnings With Apriso

Apriso has several precautions and warnings. Before taking the medication, you must inform your healthcare provider about any other conditions you are suffering from to minimize adverse side effects.

  • Hypersensitivity Reaction: Using Apriso may cause you to develop hypersensitivity reactions such as nephritis and myocarditis. Discontinue the medication immediately if you experience any signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity.
  • Renal Impairment: The drug induces renal impairment like acute and chronic interstitial nephritis.
  • Photosensitivity: Patients having pre-existing skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and atopic eczema may experience photosensitivity reactions while using this medication. Avoid prolonged sun exposure while on medication.
  • Skin Conditions: Apriso increases the risk of developing severe cutaneous conditions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. If you experience any signs and symptoms of severe cutaneous reactions, inform your doctor immediately.
  • Nephrolithiasis: Patients using Apriso medication may develop nephrolithiasis, therefore, you should maintain sufficient fluid intake while taking the medication. Maintaining hydration helps manage underlying conditions.
  • Phenylketonuria: Before being given the medication, inform your doctor if you are suffering from phenylketonuria, because your body may experience difficulty in breaking down the medication.

Apriso Side Effects

While Apriso is generally well-tolerated, it may cause side effects in some patients. The side effects may vary in severity and frequency, but not all patients will experience them.

Common Side Effects

  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Common cold

Severe Side Effects

  • Kidney failure
  • Allergic reaction
  • Severe skin responses, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Pericarditis
  • Liver conditions
  • Coughing blood or blood in your stool

Drug Interactions With Apriso

The interaction of Apriso with other medications is an essential aspect to consider for patients taking the medication. A clear understanding of how Apriso interacts with food and other substances helps optimize its effectiveness while minimizing potential risks and adverse effects.

Drug Interaction
TacrolimusThe interaction between these two medications may cause Apriso to increase the blood levels of tacrolimus which may increase the risk of developing neurotoxicity.
Proton Pump Inhibitor (Omeprazole)Concurrent use of Apriso and Omeprazole may decrease the absorption of Apriso, potentially reducing its efficacy in the treatment of ulcerative colitis
MethotrexateCombining Methotrexate and Apriso causes the risk of developing hepatotoxicity. This manifests as elevated liver damage.
AntacidsThe use of Antacids and Apriso decreases the absorption of Apriso in the gastrointestinal tract, potentially reducing its effectiveness in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
AzathioprineThe co-administration of Azathioprine and Apriso increases the risk of developing myelosuppression, which has side effects such as anemia and leukopenia.
WarfarinInteraction of warfarin and Apriso enhances the side effects of warfarin leading to an increased risk of bleeding.

Strengths and Dosages of Apriso

AgeDosage No. of Times a Day
Adults1.5g (four capsules)Once per day

The medication is taken orally each morning. Swallow the tablet as a whole, avoid breaking, crushing, cutting, or chewing it.

Apriso can be taken with or without food, accompanied by a full glass of water. Ensure you increase fluid intake to encourage frequent urination, which aids in preventing kidney conditions.

It is important to avoid taking the medication with antacids as they can prevent the proper release of the drug into the colon.

Cost of Apriso in America

A supply of 120 capsules of Apriso oral capsule, extended-release 0.375g, typically costs $547, though it may differ depending on the pharmacy you go to. It is worth noting that the quoted prices are for customers paying with cash and may not be applicable if you have medical insurance coverage.

A generic alternative to Apriso is available, offering alternative options for patients seeking the medication.

Why is Apriso So Expensive?

Apriso is expensive for several reasons such as:

  • Extended-release Formulation: Apriso comes in the form of an extended-release drug, therefore, it requires more complex manufacturing processes compared to immediate-release medications, which adds up to its expense.
  • Healthcare System Dynamics: Negotiations between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers, along with insurance coverage, and reimbursement policies can affect how much medication costs.
  • Limited Availability of Generics: The generic version of the medication is not widely available, which reduces competition and allows the brand-name drug to maintain its high price.

Apriso Alternatives

While Apriso stands as a foundational treatment for managing ulcerative colitis, the field of gastroenterology offers alternative medications for patients. Alternative medications cater to diverse patient’s needs, responses, and preferences.

  • Balsalazide: This medication works by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators and promoting mucosal healing, hence preventing ulcerative colitis.
  • Sulfasalazine: Sulfasalazine is a type of aminosalicylate that is usually converted to mesalamine, allowing it to exert its anti-inflammatory effects locally, reducing inflammation and preventing the recurrence of ulcerative colitis.
  • Olsalazine: Olsalazine is a prodrug of mesalamine that releases mesalamine in the colon. It targets the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing the development of ulcerative colitis.
  • Other Medications: Other alternative medications include biological agents like infliximab and vedolizumab, methotrexate, Humira, Stelara, and Lialda.

FAQs of Apriso

What is Apriso?

Apriso is a drug prescribed to patients suffering from ulcerative colitis. Its active ingredient is referred to as mesalamine, which is a type of aminosalicylate anti-inflammatory drug.

Why take Apriso in the morning?

The medication is best taken in the morning due to its extended-release formulation which is released throughout the day to maximize its benefits and to help manage symptoms effectively throughout the day.

How does Apriso work?

The drug works by delivering mesalamine into the inflamed tissue of the colon and rectum, this helps reduce the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

How long does it take for Apriso to work?

The time it takes for symptoms to improve with Apriso can vary depending on their severity, ranging from a few hours to several weeks.

What tier drug is Apriso?

Apriso is classified as a tier 2 medication.

How long can you take Apriso?

The dosage duration of Apriso is individually tailored based on the severity of ulcerative colitis symptoms experienced by each patient.

Does Apriso cause weight gain?

Weight gain is not specifically identified as a side effect of the medication. However, some patients experience body swelling, potentially due to fluid retention, which might be perceived as a weight gain.

Is Apriso a steroid?

No. Apriso is not a steroid, it belongs to a class of medications called aminosalicylates.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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