Rowasa

(mesalamine)

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Treats mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.

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Our bottom line

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.

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  • Lowest price with coupon
    $160.00
Quick facts about Rowasa
  • Drug class: Gastrointestinal
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

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.
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What to expect from Rowasa, on one page

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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.
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What to expect from Rowasa, on one page

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How it works

Rowasa (mesalamine) is an anti-inflammatory medicine. It works to lower the body's natural inflammatory signals, which reduces swelling and irritation within your intestines.

Quick facts about Rowasa
  • Drug class: Gastrointestinal
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Dosage forms

  • Enema
Tried Rowasa? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Rowasa (mesalamine) for Ulcerative colitis and rectum inflammation

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain, cramps, or discomfort
  • Headache
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Flu
  • Tiredness
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Side effect rates for Rowasa (mesalamine)

From 943 clinical trials of Rowasa when taken for ulcerative colitis and rectum inflammation
  • Abdominal pain, cramps, or discomfort
    8%8%
    8%8%
  • Headache
    7%7%
    13%13%
  • Gas
    6%6%
    4%4%
  • Nausea
    6%6%
    9%9%
  • Flu
    5%5%
    1%1%
  • Tiredness
    3%3%
    6%6%
  • Fever
    3%3%
  • Rash
    3%3%
    3%3%
  • Cold/sore throat
    2%2%
    7%7%
  • Diarrhea
    2%2%
    4%4%
  • Leg/joint pain
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Dizziness
    2%2%
    2%2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Rowasa.

Rowasa (mesalamine)
Placebo

People taking Rowasa felt side effect more

People taking Rowasa felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Rowasa (mesalamine)

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  • Rowasa (mesalamine) contains metabisulfite salts that may cause severe allergic reactions in patients with sulfite allergies. These reactions can make it difficult to breathe or can cause a severe rash that can be life-threatening. There is a formulation of Rowasa (mesalamine) available that doesn't contain these salts. Stop taking Rowasa (mesalamine) and report any skin rash, fever, swelling, or trouble breathing to a doctor right away.

Common concerns from people taking Rowasa (mesalamine)

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Pain
  • Choose a suitable location for administration, since Rowasa (mesalamine) can stain fabric, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, vinyl, and enamel.
  • Rowasa (mesalamine) can stain fabric, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, vinyl, and enamel.