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Rowasa

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/3/2017

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Rowasa Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa

Generic Name: mesalamine (rectal) (Pronunciation: me SAL a meen)

What is mesalamine rectal (Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa)?

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 is also used to prevent the symptoms of ulcerative colitis from recurring.

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

What are the possible side effects of mesalamine rectal (Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa)?

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

Stop using mesalamine rectal and call your doctor at once if you have severe stomach pain, cramping, fever, headache, and bloody diarrhea.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, gas;
  • fever, sore throat, or other flu symptoms;
  • rectal pain, constipation;
  • headache or dizziness;
  • tired feeling; or
  • skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about mesalamine rectal (Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa)?

Do not take mesalamine rectal by mouth. It is for use only in your rectum.

Tell your doctor if you have any type of kidney or liver disease, or if you are allergic to aspirin. You may not be able to use mesalamine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

This medication comes with patient instructions for using either the rectal suppository or the rectal enema. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Try to empty your bowel and bladder just before using the mesalamine suppository or enema. Try to use the medicine at a time when you can lie down afterward and hold the medicine in. Avoid using the bathroom during this time. It may be best to use this medicine at bedtime.

Remove the outer wrapper from the suppository before inserting it. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt in your hands.

Shake the rectal enema liquid well just before each use.

The rectal 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.

Stop using mesalamine and call your doctor at once if you have severe stomach pain, cramping, fever, headache, and bloody diarrhea.

Avoid getting the rectal suppositories or enema liquid on clothing, flooring, painted surfaces, vinyl, marble, granite, and other surfaces. Mesalamine rectal products may stain surfaces.

Rowasa Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking mesalamine rectal (Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa)?

Tell your doctor if you have any type of kidney or liver disease, or if you are allergic to aspirin. You may not be able to use mesalamine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Mesalamine rectal can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use mesalamine rectal (Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa)?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger or smaller amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Mesalamine rectal comes with patient instructions for using either the rectal suppository or the rectal enema. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Do not take mesalamine rectal by mouth. It is for use only in your rectum.

Try to empty your bowel and bladder just before using the mesalamine suppository or enema. It may be best to use this medicine at bedtime.

Remove the outer wrapper from the suppository before inserting it. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt in your hands.

For best results from the suppository, lie down after inserting it and hold in the suppository for one to three hours. The suppository will melt quickly once inserted and you should feel little or no discomfort while holding it in. Avoid using the bathroom during this time.

Shake the rectal enema liquid well just before each use.

For best results from the enema, stay lying down for at least 30 minutes after using the enema to allow the liquid to distribute throughout your intestines. Try to hold in the enema all night if possible. Avoid using the bathroom during this time.

The rectal 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.

Store the rectal enema at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Store the rectal suppositories at cool room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not refrigerate or freeze them.

Rowasa Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa)?

Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Try to use the medicine at a time when you can lie down afterward and hold the medicine in. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa)?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of mesalamine rectal is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid while taking mesalamine rectal (Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa)?

Avoid getting the rectal suppositories or enema liquid on clothing, flooring, painted surfaces, vinyl, marble, granite, and other surfaces. Mesalamine rectal products may stain surfaces.

What other drugs will affect mesalamine rectal (Canasa, Canasa Pac, Rowasa)?

There may be other drugs that can interact with mesalamine rectal. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about mesalamine rectal.


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.

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