DISALCID (salsalate) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent for oral administration. Chemically, salsalate (salicylsalicylic acid or 2-hydroxybenzoic acid, 2-carboxyphenyl ester) is a dimer of salicylic acid; its structural formula is shown below.

Chemical Structure:



Each DISALCID capsule contains 500 mg salsalate and also contains colloidal silicon dioxide, gelatin, magnesium stearate, pregelatinized starch, corn starch, titanium dioxide, FD&C blue #1, and D&C yellow #10.

Each DISALCID tablet contains 500 or 750 mg salsalate and also contains croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide, FD&C blue #1, and D&C yellow #10. (See HOW SUPPLIED .)

DISALCID is insoluble in acid gastric fluids (<0.1 mg/ml at pH 1.0), but readily soluble in the small intestine where it is partially hydrolyzed to two molecules of salicylic acid. A significant portion of the parent compound is absorbed unchanged and undergoes rapid esterase hydrolysis in the body; its half-life is about one hour. About 13% is excreted through the kidneys as a glucuronide conjugate of the parent compound, the remainder as salicylic acid and its metabolites. Thus, the amount of salicylic acid available from DISALCID is about 15% less than from aspirin, when the two drugs are administered on a salicylic acid molar equivalent basis (3.6 g salsalate/5 g aspirin). Salicylic acid biotransformation is saturated at anti-inflammatory doses of DISALCID. Such capacity-limited biotransformation results in an increase in the half-life of salicylic acid from 3.5 to 16 or more hours. Thus, dosing with DISALCID twice a day will satisfactorily maintain blood levels within the desired therapeutic range (10 to 30 mg/100 ml) throughout the 12-hour intervals. Therapeutic blood levels continue for up to 16 hours after the last dose. The parent compound does not show capacity-limited biotransformation, nor does it accumulate in the plasma on multiple dosing. Food slows the absorption of all salicylates including DISALCID.

The mode of anti-inflammatory action of DISALCID and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is not fully defined. Although salicylic acid (the primary metabolite of DISALCID) is a weak inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis in vitro, DISALCID appears to selectively inhibit prostaglandin synthesis in vivo , 1 providing anti-inflammatory activity equivalent to aspirin 2 and indomethacin. 3 Unlike aspirin, DISALCID does not inhibit platelet aggregation. 4

The usefulness of salicylic acid, the active in vivo product of DISALCID, in the treatment of arthritic disorders has been established. 5,6 In contrast to aspirin, DISALCID causes no greater fecal gastrointestinal blood loss than placebo. 7

DISALCID is indicated for relief of the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and related rheumatic disorders.


DISALCID is contraindicated in patients hypersensitive to salsalate.

Reye' Syndrome may develop in individuals who have chicken pox, influenza, or flu symptoms. Some studies suggest a possible association between the development of Reye' Syndrome and the use of medicines containing salicylate or apirin. DISALCID contains a salicylate and therefore is not recommended for use in patients with chicken pox, influenza, or flu symptoms.


General Precautions:   Patients on treatment with DISALCID should be warned not to take other salicylates so as to avoid potentially toxic concentrations. Great care should be exercised when DISALCID is prescribed in the presence of chronic renal insufficiency or peptic ulcer disease. Protein binding of salicylic acid can be influenced by nutritional status, competitive binding of other drugs, and fluctuations in serum proteins caused by disease (rheumatoid arthritis, etc.).

Although cross reactivity, including bronchospasm, has been reported occasionally with non-acetylated salicylates, including salsalate, in aspirin-sensitive patients, 8,9 salsalate is less likely than aspirin to induce asthma in such patients. 10

Laboratory Tests:   Plasma salicylic acid concentrations should be periodically monitored during long-term treatment with DISALCID to aid maintenance of therapeutically effective levels: 10 to 30 mg/100 ml. Toxic manifestations are not usually seen until plasma concentrations exceed 30 mg/100 ml (see OVERDOSAGE ). Urinary pH should also be regularly monitored: sudden acidification, as from pH 6.5 to 5.5, can double the plasma level, resulting in toxicity.

Drug Interactions:   Salicylates antagonize the uricosuric action of drugs used to treat gout. ASPIRIN AND OTHER SALICYLATE DRUGS WILL BE ADDITIVE TO DISALCID AND MAY INCREASE PLASMA CONCENTRATIONS OF SALICYLIC ACID TO TOXIC LEVELS. Drugs and foods that raise urine pH will increase renal clearance and urinary excretion of salicylic acid, thus lowering plasma levels; acidifying drugs or foods will decrease urinary excretion and increase plasma levels. Salicylates given concomitantly with anticoagulant drugs may predispose to systemic bleeding. Salicylates may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of oral anti-diabetic drugs of the sulfonylurea class. Salicylate competes with a number of drugs for protein binding sites, notably penicillin, thiopental, thyroxine, triiodothyronine, phenytoin, sulfinpyrazone, naproxen, warfarin, methotrexate, and possibly corticosteroids.

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions:   Salicylate competes with thyroid hormone for binding to plasma proteins, which may be reflected in a depressed plasma T 4 value in some patients; thyroid function and basal metabolism are unaffected.

Carcinogenesis:   No long-term animal studies have been performed with DISALCID to evaluate its carcinogenic potential.

Use in Pregnancy: Pregnancy Category C: Salsalate and salicylic acid have been shown to be teratogenic and embryocidal in rats when given in doses 4 to 5 times the usual human dose. These effects were not observed at doses twice as great as the usual human dose. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. DISALCID should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Labor and Delivery: There exist no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Although adverse effects on mother or infant have not been reported with DISALCID use during labor, caution is advised when anti-inflammatory dosage is involved. However, other salicylates have been associated with prolonged gestation and labor, maternal and neonatal bleeding sequelae, potentiation of narcotic and barbiturate effects (respiratory or cardiac arrest in the mother), delivery problems and stillbirth.

Nursing Mothers:   It is not known whether salsalate per se is excreted in human milk; salicylic acid, the primary metabolite of DISALCID, has been shown to appear in human milk in concentrations approximating the maternal blood level. Thus, the infant of a mother on DISALCID therapy might ingest in mother' milk 30 to 80% as much salicylate per kg body weight as the mother is taking. Accordingly, caution should be exercised when DISALCID is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use:   Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. (See section.)


In two well-controlled clinical trials (n=280 patients), the following reversible adverse experiences characteristic of salicylates were most commonly reported with DISALCID, listed in descending order of frequency: tinnitus, nausea, hearing impairment, rash, and vertigo. These common symptoms of salicylates, i.e., tinnitus or reversible hearing impairment, are often used as a guide to therapy.

Although cause-and-effect relationships have not been established, spontaneous reports over a ten-year period have included the following additional medically significant adverse experiences: abdominal pain, abnormal hepatic function, anaphylactic shock, angioedema, bronchospasm, decreased creatinine clearance, diarrhea, G.I. bleeding, hepatitis, hypotension, nephritis and urticaria.


Drug abuse and dependence have not been reported with DISALCID.


Death has followed ingestion of 10 to 30 g of salicylates in adults, but much larger amounts have been ingested without fatal outcome.

Symptoms:   The usual symptoms of salicylism--tinnitus, vertigo, headache, confusion, drowsiness, sweating, hyperventilation, vomiting and diarrhea--will occur. More severe intoxication will lead to disruption of electrolyte balance and blood pH, and hyperthermia and dehydration.

Treatment:   Further absorption of DISALCID from the G.I. tract should be prevented by emesis (syrup of ipecac) and, if necessary, by gastric lavage.

Fluid and electrolyte imbalance should be corrected by the administration of appropriate I.V. therapy. Adequate renal function should be maintained. Hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis may be required in extreme cases.


Adults:   The usual dosage is 3000 mg daily, given in divided doses as follows: 1) two doses of two 750 mg tablets; 2) two doses of three 500 mg tablets/capsules; or 3) three doses of two 500 mg tablets/capsules. Some patients, e.g., the elderly, may require a lower dosage to achieve therapeutic blood concentrations and to avoid the more common side effects such as auditory.

Alleviation of symptoms is gradual, and full benefit may not be evident for 3 to 4 days, when plasma salicylate levels have achieved steady state. There is no evidence for development of tissue tolerance (tachyphylaxis) but salicylate therapy may induce increased activity of metabolizing liver enzymes, causing a greater rate of salicyluric acid production and excretion, with a resultant increase in dosage requirement for maintenance of therapeutic serum salicylate levels.

Children:   Dosage recommendations and indications for DISALCID use in children have not been established.


Each DISALCID 500 mg aqua/white capsule printed with Disalcid/3M is available in:

Bottles of 100 (NDC #0089-0148-10)

Each DISALCID 500 mg aqua, film coated, round, bisected tablet embossed with DISALCID on one side and 3M on the other side is available in:

Bottles of 100 (NDC #0089-0149-10)

Bottles of 500 (NDC #0089-0149-50)

Each DISALCID 750 mg aqua, film coated, capsule shaped, bisected tablet embossed with DISALCID 750 on one side and 3M on the other side is available in:

Bottles of 100 (NDC #0089-0151-10)

Bottles of 500 (NDC #0089-0151-50)

Store at controlled room temperature 15°-30°C (59°-86°F).

Rx only


  1. Morris HG, et al. Effects of salsalate (non-acetylated salicylate) and aspirin on serum prostaglandins in humans. Thera Drug Mon 1985;7:435-438.
  2. April PA, et al. Does the acetyl group of aspirin contribute to the anti-inflammatory efficacy of salicylic acid in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis? Sem Arth & Rheum 1990;19:(4)2:20-28.
  3. Deodhar SD, et al. A short term comparative trial of salsalate and indomethacin in rheumatoid arthritis. Curr Med Res Opin 1977;5:185-188.
  4. Estes D, Kaplan K. Lack of platelet effect with the aspirin analog, salsalate. Arth & Rheum 1980;23:1303-1307.
  5. Dick C, et al. Effect of anti-inflammatory drug therapy on clearance of 133 Xe from knee joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Br Med J 1969;3:278-280.
  6. Dick WC, et al. Indices of inflammatory activity. Ann of Rheum Dis 1970;29:643-648.
  7. Cohen A, Fecal blood loss and plasma salicylate study of salicylsalicylic acid and aspirin. J Clin Pharmacol 1979;19:242-247.
  8. Chudwin DS, et al. Sensitivity to non-acetylated salicylates in a patient with asthma, nasal polyps, and rheumatoid arthritis. Ann of Allergy 1986;57:133-134.
  9. Spector SL, et al. Aspirin and concomitant idiosyncrasies in adult asthmatic patients. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1979;64:500-506.
  10. Stevenson DD, et al. Salsalate cross sensitivity in aspirin-sensitive asthmatics. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1990;86:749-758.

00300      June 1998

3M Pharmaceuticals

Northridge, CA 91324