Like all medications, taking SSZ carries some risk of side effects, which must be balanced with its potential benefits. In general, the risk of joint damage and permanent disability (resulting from arthritis) is much greater than the risks of side effects from SSZ. When monitored properly the vast majority of side effects are rare, generally improve over time and are reversible.
The most common side effects of SSZ are nausea and feeling unwell. This usually gets better over time, as you get used to taking the medication. Some people may also experience diarrhea and abdominal pain.
SSZ may cause a rash; stop the medicine and let your doctor know if this occurs.
In rare cases, people experience headaches and increased sensitivity to the sun. In some patients SSZ may also cause the urine and skin to turn an orange-yellow colour or may stain contact lenses yellow. This side effect does not require medical attention. Please speak with your health-care provider if you have concerns.
SSZ may affect your liver and kidney function as well as blood count. This should be closely monitored with routine blood work.
Also in rare occurrences, some men treated with SSZ experience low sperm counts. This complication is reversible when the drug is stopped.