Mesalazine has gained approval in Scotland, UK, for treating types of ulcerative colitis.
According to a spokesman for manufacturer Shire plc, on 10 March the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) accepted mesalazine 1,200mg gastro-resistant, prolonged release tablet (Mezavant XL) for use within NHS Scotland for induction of clinical and endoscopic remission in patients with mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis (UC), and for maintenance of remission.
The spokesman said Mezavant XL may be used in cases where mesalazine is an appropriate choice of treatment and offers the possible advantage of once-daily administration.
He said most currently available UC treatments required tablets to be taken several times daily, which could make taking the medication challenging.
He said a recent study confirmed this, with 65% of patients found to be poorly compliant with current therapy, and citing forgetfulness, tablet burden and inconvenience associated with the medication as key reasons for this.
The spokesman said most people with mild or moderate UC were treated with aminosalicylates first. This class of drugs, including mesalazine and sulfasalazine, contained 5-aminosalicyclic acid (5-ASA) to help control inflammation in the large intestine.
Mezavant XL, with MMX drug delivery technology, was designed to provide a prolonged release of mesalazine throughout the colon.
Available as a single-strength tablet containing mesalazine 1,200mg, Mezavant XL was to be taken in a once-daily dose of two to four tablets.
Mezavant XL was indicated both for the induction of clinical and endoscopic remission in patients with mild to moderate, active UC, and for maintenance of remission.