Mesalamine enema

Pronunciation

Generic Name: mesalamine (me-SAL-a-meen)
Brand Name: Rowasa

Mesalamine enema is used for:

Treating mild to moderate inflammation of the colon or rectum.

Mesalamine enema is a 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA). It works by preventing the production of substances that cause the inflammation of the colon.

Do NOT use mesalamine enema if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in mesalamine enema, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen), or salicylates (eg, aspirin)
  • you are younger than 18 years old and you have the flu or chickenpox or have received a live vaccine (eg, varicella, influenza) within the past 6 weeks
  • you are taking probenecid or sulfinpyrazone

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using mesalamine enema:

Some medical conditions may interact with mesalamine enema. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines (including sulfasalazine), foods, or other substances (including sulfites)
  • if you have had a stroke, bleeding in the brain, or an aneurysm
  • if you have a history of liver or kidney problems, pancreas problems (eg, pancreatitis), Kawasaki syndrome, or a rheumatic (inflammatory) disease (eg, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, inflammation of the sac around your heart)
  • if you have the flu or chickenpox, or if you have recently received a live vaccine (eg, varicella, influenza)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with mesalamine enema. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Azathioprine or mercaptopurine because the risk of blood problems may be increased
  • Gingko biloba extract because side effects, such as increased bleeding, may occur
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) because they may decrease mesalamine enema's effectiveness
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg, acetazolamide), insulin, meglitinide antidiabetics (eg, repaglinide), sulfonylureas (eg, glipizide), or valproic acid because the risk of their side effects may be increased by mesalamine enema
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril), anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), probenecid, spironolactone, or sulfinpyrazone because their effectiveness may be decreased by mesalamine enema
  • Medicines that may harm the kidney (eg, aminoglycoside antibiotics [eg, gentamicin], amphotericin B, cyclosporine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] [eg, ibuprofen], tacrolimus, vancomycin) because the risk of kidney side effects may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the kidney.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if mesalamine enema may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use mesalamine enema:

Use mesalamine enema as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Best results are achieved if the bowel is emptied immediately before using mesalamine enema.
  • Use mesalamine enema at bedtime, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • Shake the bottle well. Remove the protective sheath from the applicator tip.
  • Holding the bottle at the neck will not allow the medicine to be discharged. The position most often used is to lay on the left side, with the lower leg extended and the upper right leg flexed forward for balance. An alternative is the knee-chest position.
  • Gently insert the applicator tip in the rectum, pointing toward the naval. Grasp the bottle firmly, then tilt slightly so that the nozzle is aimed toward the back. Squeeze slowly to instill the medicine. Steady hand pressure will discharge most of the medicine. After using, withdraw the bottle and throw it away.
  • Remain in this position for at least 30 minutes after using mesalamine enema to allow complete distribution of the medicine in the body. Retain mesalamine enema all night if possible.
  • Mesalamine enema will stain direct contact surfaces, including fabrics, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, vinyl, and enamel. Choose a suitable location when using mesalamine enema.
  • If you miss a dose of mesalamine enema and you are using 1 dose daily at bedtime, skip the missed dose. Do not use the dose in the morning. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use mesalamine enema.

Important safety information:

  • Mesalamine enema may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use mesalamine enema with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Mesalamine enema may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to mesalamine enema. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Some of these products contain sulfites. Sulfites may cause an allergic reaction in some patients (eg, asthma patients). If you have ever had an allergic reaction to sulfites, ask your pharmacist if your product has sulfites in it.
  • Some patients may experience an intolerance reaction to mesalamine enema. Signs of intolerance are very similar to symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. They may include bloody diarrhea, fever, headache, rash, or severe or persistent stomach pain or cramping. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.
  • Salicylates have been linked to a serious illness called Reye syndrome. Do not give mesalamine enema to a child or teenager who has the flu, chickenpox, or a viral infection. Contact your doctor with any questions or concerns.
  • Lab tests, including kidney function, liver function, or complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use mesalamine enema. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use mesalamine enema with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially blood problems.
  • Mesalamine enema should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using mesalamine enema while you are pregnant. It is not known if mesalamine enema is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use mesalamine enema, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of mesalamine enema:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Flu-like symptoms; gas; hemorrhoids; mild headache; mild stomach discomfort or pain; nausea; rectal pain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); back, leg, or joint pain; blood in the urine; bloody or coffee ground-like vomit; change in the amount of urine; chest pain; dark, bloody, or tarry stools; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; hair loss; severe or persistent headache; shortness of breath; sudden or severe stomach pain or cramping; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine; pale stools; severe or persistent nausea, loss of appetite, or stomach pain; unusual tiredness; yellowing of the skin or eyes); unusual bruising or bleeding.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of mesalamine enema:

Store mesalamine enema between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. After the foil-wrapped unit of 7 bottles is opened, use all enemas promptly. The contents of the enemas may darken with time. Slight darkening will not affect the strength of mesalamine enema. Throw away enemas with dark brown contents. Keep mesalamine enema out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about mesalamine enema, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Mesalamine enema is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take mesalamine enema or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about mesalamine enema. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to mesalamine enema. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using mesalamine enema.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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