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  • Generic Name: (mesalamine)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 10/2016
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Canasa is a medicine used to treat ulcerative proctitis (an inflammatory disease of the rectum). Canasa is available as a rectal suppository that is directly inserted into the rectum.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Canasa is thought to work by relieving inflammation in the rectum.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Studies have shown that Canasa is effective in treating ulcerative proctitis.

      When: You may start to see an improvement in your condition after 3 to 6 weeks of starting treatment with Canasa.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may notice an improvement in your symptoms, such as less frequent bowel movements and rectal bleeding.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: dizziness, rectal pain, acne, fever, inflammation of the large intestine, rash.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Allergic type reactions, including acute intolerance syndrome, with symptoms such as cramping, abdominal (stomach area) pain, bloody diarrhea, and sometimes fever, headache, and rash. Other allergic reactions can cause heart problems including pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart), blood problems, and problems with other organs in the body including the kidneys, liver and lungs. These problems usually happen in people who have had an allergic reaction to medicines containing sulfasalazine.

      Liver problems, with symptoms such as yellowing or your skin or whites of your eyes, itchy skin, extreme tiredness, flu-like symptoms, nausea, or vomiting. This can happen in people who have a history of liver problems and have taken other medicines that contain mesalamine.

      Canasa may also cause kidney problems. Your healthcare provider will do certain tests before you start using Canasa and during your treatment with Canasa.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not use Canasa if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or to aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Canasa. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver problems, a history of pericarditis, are allergic to sulfasalazine, or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Insert 1 suppository once a day, at bedtime. Your healthcare provider will tell you how long to continue using Canasa.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Use Canasa exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Do not cut or break the suppository.

      After inserting Canasa in your rectum, try to keep the suppository in your rectum for at least 1 to 3 hours.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not let Canasa come in contact with clothing and other fabrics, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, vinyl, or enamel. Canasa can cause staining of these surfaces.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Canasa is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Canasa with the following: 6-mercaptopurine, azathioprine, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen and naproxen).

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Canasa during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Canasa can be found in your breast milk if you use it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Canasa, insert one suppository as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not insert two suppositories at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Canasa may be refrigerated. Protect from direct heat, light, or humidity.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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