Compare Rowasa vs. Asacol

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

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Rowasa (mesalamine)

Prescription only

Lialda (Mesalamine)

Prescription only
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.

Treats inflammatory bowel disease.

Lialda (Mesalamine) is an effective first-line medicine for inflammatory bowel disease. There isn't a generic version and you'll have to take it multiple times a day.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Effective first-line medication for treating and lowering the symptoms of mild inflammatory bowel disease.
  • About half the people who have mild to moderate colon inflammation and take Lialda (Mesalamine) will see improvement.
  • Available in tablets, capsules, enemas, and suppositories.
  • Certain forms of Lialda (Mesalamine) can be used during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you're pregnant, or plan on becoming pregnant, and you want to take Lialda (Mesalamine).
Downsides
  • 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.
  • No generic versions are available for the tablets, capsules, and suppositories (meaning it could be somewhat expensive).
  • Doesn't work well for severe colon inflammation.
  • You may need to take Lialda (Mesalamine) three or four times a day.
  • Not a good option if you have kidney disease.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Enema
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Enema
  • Suppository
Price
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Reviews
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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
35possible side effects
  • Headache
    35%
  • Abdominal pain
    18%
  • Eructation
    16%
  • Pain
    14%
  • Nausea
    13%
  • Pharyngitis
    11%
  • Dizziness
    8%
  • Asthenia
    7%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Back pain
    7%
  • Fever
    6%
  • Rash
    6%
  • Dyspepsia
    6%
  • Rhinitis
    5%
  • Arthralgia
    5%
  • Hypertonia
    5%
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Flatulence
    3%
  • Dysmenorrhea
    3%
  • Chest pain
    3%
  • Chills
    3%
  • Flu syndrome
    3%
  • Peripheral edema
    3%
  • Myalgia
    3%
  • Sweating
    3%
  • Colitis exacerbation
    3%
  • Pruritus
    3%
  • Adverse events
    3%
  • Acne
    2%
  • Increased cough
    2%
  • Malaise
    2%
  • Arthritis
    2%
  • Conjunctivitis
    2%
  • Insomnia
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Sulfite allergy
  • Abnormal reaction to Rowasa (mesalamine)
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Asthma
    • Rhinitis
    • Nasal polyps
    • Aspirin allergy
    • NSAID allergy
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Worsening kidney or liver function
    • Kidney problems
    • Liver problems
  • Blood disorders
    • Age 65 or older
  • Liver toxicity
    • Liver problems
  • Worsening of colitis
    • Taking Lialda (Mesalamine) at the start of treatment
See more detailed risks and warnings