Mesalamine (Rectal)

Introduction

Mesalamine (me-SAL-a-meen)

Treats ulcerative proctitis, a bowel disease.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Canasa, Rowasa, sfRowasa

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to mesalamine. You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to aspirin. Do not use the rectal suppository if you are allergic to saturated vegetable fat such as shortening.

How to Use This Medicine

Suppository, Enema

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Never take rectal suppositories by mouth.
  • Before inserting a suppository, go to the bathroom and empty your bladder and, if possible, have a bowel movement.
  • This medicine will stain any surface it touches (clothing, bedsheets, floors, countertops, etc.). To protect your clothing, consider wearing a sanitary napkin or adult undergarment such as Depends®. Protect your sheets by placing a waterproof pad on your bed. These pads, often called Chux pads or underpads, are available from a medical supply store.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine. Remove the foil or wrapper from the suppository before inserting it.
  • Do not keep the suppository in your hand too long or it may begin to melt. To make the suppository easier to insert, you may use a lubricating gel such as K-Y® Jelly, but do not use petroleum jelly (Vaseline®).
  • Lie on your left side with your left leg straight or slightly bent, and your right knee bent upward. Gently push the pointed end of the suppository into the rectum about 1 inch.
  • The medicine needs to remain in your body for 3 hours or longer, depending on your doctor's advice. Try not to use the bathroom for at least that length of time after inserting the suppository.
  • Use the enema at bedtime, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Wash your hands with soap and water. Shake the bottle and then remove the cap.
  • Lie on your left side with your left leg straight or slightly bent, and your right knee bent upward. Insert the applicator tip into your rectum about an inch. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bottle to release the enema.
  • Remove the bottle and throw it away.
  • You may need to hold the liquid in your rectum for several minutes or hours. This may be difficult or feel uncomfortable. It should become easier to do as you continue to use the medicine.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • You may store the suppositories in the refrigerator, but do not freeze them. Store the enema at room temperature. Keep away from heat, moisture, or direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine applicator(s), containers, and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking mesalamine by mouth (Asacol®, Pentasa®) or a similar medicine called sulfasalazine (Azulfidine EN-Tabs®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, heart disease, or a history of an inflamed pancreas. Make sure your doctor knows if you have an allergy to a food, dye, or preservative. Tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to sulfasalazine (Azulfidine EN-Tabs®).
  • Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have bloody diarrhea and sudden or severe stomach cramps. You may also notice a fever, headache, or a skin rash along with these symptoms.
  • If you have severe diarrhea, ask your doctor before taking any medicine to stop the diarrhea.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath.
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and lightheadedness.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild hair loss.
  • Mild stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, or gas.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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