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Read the Patient Information leaflet that comes with CANASA before you start taking it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This leaflet does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or treatment. If you have any questions about CANASA, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

What is CANASA?

CANASA is a prescription medicine used to treat active ulcerative proctitis (ulcerative rectal colitis).

It is not known if CANASA is safe and effective for use for longer than 6 weeks.

It is not known if CANASA is safe and effective in children.

Who should not use CANASA?

Do not use CANASA if you are:

  • allergic to medicines that contain salicylates, including aspirin.
  • allergic to mesalamine or any of the ingredients in CANASA. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in CANASA.

Ask your doctor if you are not sure if your medicine is listed above.

What should I tell my doctor before using CANASA?

Before using CANASA, tell your doctor if you:

  • have a history of allergic reaction to the medicine sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
  • have kidney problems
  • have ever had inflammation of the sac around your heart (pericarditis).
  • have any other medical condition
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if CANASA can harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. CANASA can pass into your milk. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you use CANASA.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I use CANASA?

  • Use CANASA exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will tell you how long to continue using CANASA.
  • CANASA comes as a suppository that you insert into your rectum.
  • CANASA is used 1 time each day, at bedtime.
  • After CANASA is inserted in your rectum, you should try to keep (retain) the suppository in your rectum for 1 to 3 hours, or longer if possible.
  • CANASA can cause staining of surfaces including, clothing and other fabrics, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, vinyl and enamel. Keep CANASA away from these surfaces to prevent staining.

What are the possible side effects of CANASA?

CANASA may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic type reactions. This can include sudden symptoms called “Acute intolerance syndrome.” When this happens, it is usually in people who have had an allergic reaction to medicines containing sulfasalazine. Stop using CANASA and tell your doctor right away if you get any of these symptoms:
    • cramps
    • stomach (abdominal) pain
    • bloody diarrhea
    • fever
    • headache
    • rash
  • Inflammation of the sac around the heart (pericarditis). Tell your doctor right away if you get chest pain or shortness of breath. Your doctor may tell you to stop using CANASA if you get pericarditis.

The most common side effects of CANASA include:

  • dizziness
  • acne
  • colitis (inflammation of the colon)
  • rectal pain (pain in the final portion of the large intestine)
  • fever
  • rash

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all of the possible side effects of CANASA. For more information ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store CANASA?

  • Store CANASA below 77°F (25°C).
  • CANASA may be refrigerated.
  • Keep CANASA away from direct heat, light, or humidity.

Keep CANASA and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about CANASA

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a patient information leaflet. Do not use CANASA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give CANASA to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.

This leaflet summarizes the most important information about CANASA. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about CANASA that is written for health professionals.

For more information, go to www.canasa.com, or call 1-800-472-2634.

What are the ingredients in CANASA?

Active ingredients: Mesalamine Inactive ingredients: Hard fat base

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/6/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Canasa - User Reviews

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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