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A series of experiments has been performed in healthy male volunteers to investigate the disposition of orally administered disodium azodisalicylate, a potentially useful drug for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. The drug was given by mouth in doses of up to 2 g a day for six weeks and there were no adverse effects. Serum concentrations of the intact compound were low and the serum half-time was 4-12.8 days, probably because of a combination of a low clearance rate and a high apparent volume of distribution. Less than 5% of the ingested dose was excreted unchanged in the urine. Circulating concentrations of 5-ASA and N-acetyl-5-ASA were low and 30% of the equivalent daily dose was excreted in the urine, predominantly as N-acetyl-5-ASA. In most subjects more than 30% of the equivalent daily dose of 5-ASA was recovered from the faeces, either as 5-ASA itself or as the acetylated derivative. As 5-ASA has been shown to be the active therapeutic moiety of sulphasalazine, disodium azodisalicylate appears to be suitable for therapeutic trial in ulcerative colitis.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1081 - 1087