If you’re looking at treatment options for ulcerative colitis, you may want to learn more about mesalamine.
Mesalamine is a generic prescription drug. It’s used to treat ulcerative colitis in adults and some children. Mesalamine also comes in several brand-name versions. (For more information, see the “Is mesalamine available as a brand-name drug?” section below.)
The generic drug is available in the following forms that you take by mouth:
- a delayed-release tablet
- a delayed-release capsule
- an extended-release capsule
Mesalamine also comes as a rectal suppository and a rectal enema. (A rectal suppository is a solid form of medication, and a rectal enema is a liquid treatment. Both forms are meant to be inserted into the rectum.)
Mesalamine belongs to a group of drugs called aminosalicylates.
Keep reading for details on mesalamine and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.
Note: For more details on mesalamine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
The price you pay for mesalamine can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.
To find out how much you’ll pay for mesalamine, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about mesalamine and cost.
Does the form of mesalamine I use (such as the suppository or tablet) affect the drug’s cost?
Yes, the cost of mesalamine can vary based on the form you’re using. For example, according to GoodRx.com, mesalamine delayed-release tablets are less expensive than the delayed-release capsules.
If you’re interested in trying a different form of mesalamine to save money, check with your doctor. They can let you know which forms of mesalamine cost less but will still work well for your condition.
How much does mesalamine cost without insurance?
The cost of mesalamine can vary depending on which form you use, your location, and other factors.
If you don’t have insurance, financial help may be available. For more information, see “Can I get help paying for mesalamine?” below.
Will the price I pay for mesalamine depend on the strength I’m prescribed (such as 400 mg, 800 mg, or 1.2 g)?
The cost of mesalmine can vary with the strength of your prescribed dose. But a higher dose doesn’t necessarily cost more than a lower dose.
For example, mesalamine delayed-release tablets come in 800 milligrams (mg) and 1.2 grams (g). According to GoodRx.com, the higher strength (1.2 g) costs slightly less than the lower strength (800 mg). But this can vary depending on your treatment plan, insurance coverage, and which pharmacy you use.
The generic drug mesalamine comes in several brand-name versions. These include:
A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered just as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
To find out how the cost of mesalamine compares to its brand-name version, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If you’ve been prescribed mesalamine and you’re interested in using a brand-name drug instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider. This is because it may not cover every version of the drug.
If you take mesalamine long term, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:
- Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of mesalamine if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of mesalamine. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of this drug, talk with your doctor or insurance provider.
- Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for mesalamine. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug through mail order. If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you need help covering the cost of mesalamine or understanding your insurance, check out these websites:
On these sites, you will find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.
If you have questions about how you can pay for mesalamine, you may also want to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you still have questions about the cost of mesalamine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for mesalamine.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- How much does mesalamine cost with Medicare?
- Is there a less expensive medication that could treat my condition?
- Can my prescription be filled with a generic version of the drug?
- Does an extended-release form of mesalamine cost more than other forms?
- Will the price increase if my dose gets increased?
For tips on managing your ulcerative colitis, consider signing up for Healthline’s IBD newsletter.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.