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Mesalamine (rectal)

Generic Name: mesalamine (rectal) (me SAL a meen)
Brand Name: Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa, sfRowasa

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Sep 18, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is mesalamine rectal?

See also: Entyvio

Mesalamine affects a substance in the body that causes inflammation, tissue damage, and diarrhea.

Mesalamine rectal is used to treat ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and proctosigmoiditis.

Mesalamine rectal may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Call your doctor at once if you have severe stomach pain, cramping, and bloody diarrhea (may occur with fever, headache, and skin rash).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use mesalamine if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether mesalamine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I use mesalamine rectal?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not take a rectal suppository or enema by mouth. Use it only in your rectum.

For best results, use mesalamine rectal at bedtime. Try to empty your bowel and bladder before using rectal medicine.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine.

Wash your hands before and after using rectal medicine.

Remove the wrapper before inserting the suppository. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt. Lie on your back with your knees up toward your chest. Gently insert the suppository into your rectum about 1 inch, pointed tip first.

Stay lying down for a few minutes while the suppository melts. You should feel little or no discomfort. Avoid using the bathroom for at least an hour.

Shake the rectal enema liquid well just before each use.

To use the enema, lie on your left side with your left leg extended and your right leg slightly bent. Remove the cap from the applicator tip and gently insert the tip into your rectum. Slowly squeeze the bottle to empty the contents into the rectum.

After using the enema, lie down on your left side for at least 30 minutes to allow the liquid to distribute throughout your intestines. Avoid using the bathroom, and hold in the enema at least 1 hour, or all night if possible.

It may take up to 3 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Store at cool room temperature away from moisture and heat.

The enema liquid may darken in color after it has been removed from the foil pouch. This should not affect the medicine. However, throw away any enema liquid that has turned dark brown.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and wait until your next bedtime to use the medicine. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using mesalamine rectal?

Avoid getting mesalamine on clothing, flooring, painted surfaces, vinyl, marble, granite, and other surfaces. Mesalamine rectal products may stain surfaces.

Mesalamine rectal side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have severe stomach pain, cramping, and bloody diarrhea (may occur with fever, headache, and skin rash).

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, nausea, gas;

  • fever, cold or flu symptoms;

  • rash; or

  • feeling tired.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect mesalamine rectal?

Other drugs may affect mesalamine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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