Compare Apriso vs. Rowasa

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Apriso (mesalamine)

Prescription only

Rowasa (mesalamine)

Prescription only
Maintains remission of ulcerative colitis

Apriso (mesalamine) is an effective medication for maintaining remission of ulcerative colitis that's generally well tolerated, but commonly causes headache.

Treats mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.

Rowasa (mesalamine) effectively relieves symptoms of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, but can only be used rectally so it only works on a small part of your intestines.

Upsides
  • Apriso (mesalamine) is only available as a tablet, however, mesalamine is available in different forms, including tablets, capsules, enemas, and suppositories.
  • Certain forms of Apriso (mesalamine) can be used during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you're pregnant, or plan on becoming pregnant, and you have bowel inflammation.
  • It is a good option even if you have kidney or liver disease.
  • Since Apriso (mesalamine) is an extended release form, the pill is taken only once a day compared to other similar medicines and can be less irritating to the stomach and intestines.
  • Rowasa (mesalamine) is the first-choice treatment for disease at the far end of the colon.
  • Topical therapies, like enemas, provide a quicker response time than oral forms.
  • Rowasa (mesalamine) is only used once a day at bedtime.
  • Better tolerated and less side effects compared to the oral forms.
  • Available in a sulfite-free form, sfRowasa, for people who have a sulfite allergy.
Downsides
  • Although you only have to take it once in the morning, you may need to take 4 capsules.
  • Apriso (mesalamine) is not available as a cheaper, generic form.
  • Should only be used if you're 18 or older.
  • Must keep the suspension in your rectum as long as you can (up to 8 hours).
  • Need to use Rowasa (mesalamine) for 3 to 6 weeks when treating disease.
  • Combination therapy with oral and rectal forms may be needed for some people.
  • Rowasa (mesalamine) can stain fabric, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, vinyl, and enamel.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Extended-release pill
  • Enema
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
7possible side effects
  • Headache
    11%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Upper stomach pain
    5%
  • Nausea
    4%
  • Common cold
    4%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    4%
  • Sinus infection
    3%
See more detailed side effects
12possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain, cramps, or discomfort
    8%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Gas
    6%
  • Nausea
    6%
  • Flu
    5%
  • Tiredness
    3%
  • Fever
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Cold/sore throat
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Leg/joint pain
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Liver problems
    • Preexisting liver problems
    • Taking other medications toxic to the liver
  • Kidney problems
    • Preexisting kidney problems
    • Taking medications toxic to the kidney
  • Build up of phenylalanine in the body
    • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Sulfasalazine reaction
  • Acute intolerance syndrome
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Sulfite allergy
  • Abnormal reaction to Rowasa (mesalamine)
See more detailed risks and warnings