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How long do I need to take Mesacol?

Q: I am 37 years old male. I was diagnosed to have ulcerative colitis by colonoscopy and biopsy four years ago. I received steroids for one month and have been using Mesacol regularly since then. Till last month everything was ok but then I developed stomach upset. I have taken antibiotics but there is no improvement. Could you please tell me why I am having this problem and how long I have to take Mesacol?

A:There is no doubt that you have ulcerative colitis as proven by colonoscopy and biopsy. You have to take Mesacol lifelong. It is important to know the extent of colitis. Left sided colitis has a better prognosis compared to extensive colitis. Sometimes, colitis can be exacerbated by taking antibiotics. It is quite possible that either you have developed some kind of infection or because of antibiotic you had an exacerbation of ulcerative colitis. If you gets an attack of ulcerative colitis I suggest you take a short course of steroid. However, you should never stop taking Mesacol which is to be taken either 2 tablets 3 times a day or 3 tablets twice a day.

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