Compare Lialda vs. Rowasa

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

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Lialda (mesalamine)

Prescription only

Rowasa (mesalamine)

Prescription only
Treats ulcerative colitis and helps prevent flares from coming back.

Lialda (mesalamine) effectively reduces symptoms of mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis, and may be less irritating than other formulations, but is brand only, so may be more expensive..

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
  • Lialda (mesalamine) effectively treats and helps maintain remission of ulcerative colitis.
  • Often used as a first-choice treatment.
  • Since Lialda (mesalamine) is a delayed release form, the pill is taken only once a day compared to other similar medicines and may be less irritating to the stomach and intestines.
  • Available as a generic.
  • 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
  • Treatment dosage must be taken once a day for a total of 8 weeks.
  • Can take a few weeks before you start to feel the effects.
  • Combination therapy with oral and rectal forms may be needed for some people.
  • 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
  • Delayed-release pill
  • Enema
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
5possible side effects
  • Ulcerative colitis
    6%
  • Headache
    3%
  • Abnormal liver tests
    2%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
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
  • Kidney problems
    • Preexisting kidney problems
    • Taking medications toxic to the kidney
  • Liver problems
    • Preexisting liver problems
    • Taking other medications toxic to the liver
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Sulfasalazine reaction
    • Allergy to salicylates (aspirin)
  • Abnormal reaction to Lialda (mesalamine)
  • Upper gastrointestinal tract blockage
  • Drug & disease precautions
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Sulfite allergy
  • Abnormal reaction to Rowasa (mesalamine)
See more detailed risks and warnings