Rowasa (Mesalamine) Dosage and Side Effects
Mesalamine (also known as 5-aminosalicylic acid) is used to treat certain types of bowel disease (distal ulcerative colitis, proctosigmoiditis, proctitis). It does not cure these conditions, but it may relieve mild-to-moderate pain and decrease the frequency of diarrhea/bloody stools caused by irritation/swelling in the colon/rectum. Mesalamine is an aminosalicylate anti-inflammatory drug. It is believed to work by blocking the production of certain natural chemicals that may cause pain and swelling.
Proper Use of this medication
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using mesalamine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this medication rectally once daily at bedtime, or as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
Visually inspect the contents of the bottle before use. The contents should be off-white to tan in color. A slight darkening of the medication is expected, but any enemas that turn dark brown should be discarded.
This medication works best if you have a bowel movement before using it. Shake the bottle well. Holding the bottle at the neck, remove the cover from the applicator tip. Lie on your left side with your right knee bent. Insert the tip of the bottle into the rectum, pointing toward the navel. Gently and steadily squeeze out the entire contents of the bottle. Remove the bottle. Remain in position for 30 minutes. Throw away the empty bottle. Try to keep the medication in the rectum for 8 hours.
This medication may stain surfaces that it touches (such as clothing, floor, and counter surfaces).
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Rectal pain, pain while inserting the bottle tip, gas, and joint/leg pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Infrequently, this medication may make symptoms of your condition worse rather than better (acute intolerance syndrome or sensitivity reaction). Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of these unlikely but serious side effects: worsening stomach pain/cramping, worsening bloody diarrhea, fever, severe/prolonged headache.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, shortness of breath, severe stomach/abdominal pain (especially if spreading to the back), yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Warnings and Precautions
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other medications that are broken down into mesalamine (such as balsalazide, sulfasalazine, olsalazine); or to other salicylates (such as aspirin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as sulfites), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: asthma, kidney problems, liver disease, pancreas problems (pancreatitis), inflammation of the sac around the heart (pericarditis).
This medication is similar to aspirin. Children and teenagers should not take aspirin or aspirin-related medications (such as salicylates) if they have chickenpox, flu, or any undiagnosed illness, or if they have just been given a live virus vaccine (such as varicella vaccine), without first consulting a doctor about Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding.
Interactions with this medication
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including urine normetanephrine levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.