Drugs A - Z

Mesalamine Rectal suppository

It is used to treat the pain and inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis.

Generic Name: mesalamine rectal  |  Brand Name: FIV-ASA

Brand Names: Rowasa, Salofalk, Canasa Pac, FIV-ASA, Canasa

What is this medicine?

MESALAMINE (me SAL a meen) is used to treat the pain and inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • history of pancreatitis
  • kidney disease
  • pyloric stenosis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to mesalamine, salicylates like aspirin, other medicines, foods like saturated vegetable oils, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for rectal use only. Do not take by mouth. Wash your hands before and after use. Take off the wrapping. Try to handle the suppository as little as you can, so that it does not melt before use. A small amount of lubricating gel may be used on the tip of the suppository. Lie on your side with your lower leg straightened out and your upper leg bent forward toward your stomach. Lift upper buttock to expose the rectal area. Apply gentle pressure to insert the suppository completely into the rectum, pointed end first. Hold buttocks together for a few seconds. For best results, use this medicine after you have had a bowel movement, and try to keep in place for 1 to 3 hours or longer. Do not use more often than directed.

Take your medicine at regular intervals. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better after several days. There is usually an improvement in 3 to 21 days. You may need about 6 weeks of treatment to get good results.

This medicine can cause stains on things it touches. Therefore keep it away from clothing and other fabrics, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, plastics, and enamel. Be careful to avoid stains.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • bloody diarrhea
  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing, wheezing
  • fever
  • pain or difficulty passing urine
  • unusually weak or tired
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea, vomiting
  • rectal pain
  • stomach gas
  • stomach pain or cramps

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store below 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). Do not freeze. Keep away from direct heat, light or humidity. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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.


Last Updated: December 15, 2009
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