I have had UC for 15 years now and have been on all sorts of medication - steroids, Azathioprine and Asacol. I found the Asacol tablets didn't really work very well for me as my colitis is mainly rectal, but the Asacol suppositries worked very well. You may find the Asacol works well, or not, but it's worth a try. They don't have any nasty side effects. With regard to having to stay on them for the rest of your life, it really depends on how your colitis goes. I'm now about to have surgery as I've had enough of the pain etc. But you may find that your colitis improves and you can come off all medication. If all you're taking is just the Asacol then you're colitis can't be too severe or else they'd have suggested steroids - and they're not much fun. Asacol really isn't too bad - don't worry!