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Mesalamine Rectal enema, suspension

What is this medicine?

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

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for rectal use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash your hands before and after use. Shake well before using. Lie on your left side, extend the left leg and pull the right leg up towards your chest or pull both knees toward the chest. Take off the applicator tip cover and place the applicator tip gently into the rectum. Pointing the tip toward your stomach, squeeze the bottle steadily. Stay in position for at least 30 minutes to allow the medication to spread inside. For best results, use this medicine before bedtime and after you have had a bowel movement. Try keeping the suspension in the rectum for 8 hours. Take your medicine at regular intervals. 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 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

  • black, tarry stools

  • bloody diarrhea

  • breathing problems

  • chest pain

  • fever

  • nausea, vomiting

  • pain or trouble passing urine or change in the amount of 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):

  • headache

  • rectal discomfort

  • stomach gas

  • stomach pain or cramps

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected.

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.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Once the foil-wrapped unit of seven bottles is opened, all enemas should be used within a short period of time. The suspension may darken after opening foil pouch. Slight darkening is okay; however, throw away enemas with dark brown contents. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • kidney disease

  • pyloric stenosis

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to mesalamine, salicylates, other medicines, sulfites, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

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 or if they get worse. There is usually an improvement in 3 to 21 days. You may need about 6 weeks of treatment to get good results.

This medicine may stain clothing and other fabrics, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, plastics, and enamel.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 12/1/2009
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.