new to Rowasa - questions

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 1/16/2008 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I had flex sig done yesterday and there is minor inflammation in my rectum. So the GI is suggesting to do Rowasa for six weeks. I have never done an enema before. Is it something that I can do by myself? Any tips or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Ash 39 NH, vegetarian
Diagnosed with UC July 06 (I think 6/6/6) during 10 day hospitalization
Current meds: Asacol 12, Imuran 150mg
Centrum Silver, Primadophilus Reuteri, DHA-Omega 3, L-glutamine

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 1/16/2008 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
the relief you will get from them is great!

They can be hard to hold in for the first few days to a week until you start getting better. Try to hold in for at least 30 min. I would do mine at night.

Lay on your left side and bring your right knee up and kind of angle it towards your pelvis slightly when putting it in (that worked well for me, though you will find your best angle).

Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 1/16/2008 1:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Pick a very comy position and have tissues (in case of dripping), a towel under you for the same reason, maybe a book or remote control and a good tv angle...distraction is good for trying to keep it in longer. Some people can just fall asleep in that position! Good luck!
Kelly, 29

Left sided UC diagnosed 1/98 age 19, Pan colitis diagnosed 1/07
Currently on 4x3 Asacol, 15 mg pred, down to 10 mg 1/11/08!
75mg Imuran starting 8/23/07---bumped to 100mg 10/8/07--bumped to 125 11/14/07...
Taken off of Imuran temporarily 1/11/08
Prontonix once daily for acid reflux, zofran twice daily for nausea

Bad Gut
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 304
   Posted 1/16/2008 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My experience with Rowasa - simply put it is a wonder med.  It pulled me out of my first nasty flare within two weeks.   I don't use it regularly just when I need to or start having problems and everytime it puts me back on track - well so far at least.  For me I always go to the bathroom and shall we say dump anything that I can, it is way easier for me to keep it in all night if I can start empty on the that end.  Then I get on my hands and knees and apply it that way on my own - way to personal of a task to ask for help.  I personally only sit like that for maybe 2 minutes afterward then I get up and go right to bed laying on my left side for the next 10 minutes or so.  I have never had problems with them doing it this way and like I said it has worked wonders for me.  I realize the instructions say to remain in the position for 30 min or longer but for me that isn't going to happen and I have a great results without staying propped up in some degrading position while it settles in, besides that creates more stress which could lead to going to the bathroom again.  My overall opinion and suggestion for you is I think it is more important to keep it in longer than it is using it per instructions with the wait and position- especially if following those rules only creates problems and leads to another trip to the pottie. 

Diagnosed Feb 2007
12 Asacol Daily
Rowasa nightly
Multi-Vitamin Daily
1 Probiotics pill daily - Culturelle with Lactobacillus
Tumeric and Garlic supplement 2x daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4506
   Posted 1/16/2008 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
The directions that come with it say to point the enema tip slightly toward your abdomen while inserting and then tip it slightly toward your back while squeezing the contents into your rectum. I would guess that part doesn't matter all that much as long as you get it all, or most of it, in. I always go to the bathroom right beforehand, b/c I've found that if I have to pee even a little bit, the enema contents seem to push on my bladder...but if I go beforehand it's fine. Maybe I'm just odd with that one... Like others have said, it might be uncomfortable to retain at first, but it should get easier after a few nights or a week. I try to lie really still for a minute or two after using an enema and after that the urge is usually almost gone. Good luck! I was really scared when I first started them, but after a couple weeks it didn't seem so strange/gross/uncomfortable anymore. I'm sure others will chime in with more suggestions.
23 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - daily
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 1/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv (Calcium and Vit. D); fish oil

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 1/16/2008 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   

I will add make sure you squeeze out the excess air first.  It will help a lot with the cramping and urgency feel.  Squeeze slowly from the tip over the sink until the medicine comes to the top, then hold it there until you insert.

Once you get use to the feeling of having them in you, it will be easier.  Just keep squeezing your butt as tight at possible ( good work out!) to make sure it stays in until you get use to them.  They do work! Give them time!


Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5186
   Posted 1/16/2008 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, they work-- not as fast as the steroid enemas, though. It seems like most of us writing here get good results from Rowasa. The main problem has come from hard-to-squeeze bottles that the generic version was shipped in for a couple yrs. You might want to keep a tube of sterile jelly handy to lube up the enema tip before inserting. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC; currently on 3 Colazal daily for maintenance of remission)

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/16/2008 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
i started these 5 days ago & i am still getting used to it. the biggest help holding it in is if you squeeze the air out first - like someone already mentioned. second biggest help was setting it in a glass of warm water just before using it so it comes to body temperature first. i find that anytime i switch positions drastically i have to go #2 - so if i lay down on my side first for a minute - maybe roll onto my back - i usually need to go to the bathroom & that clears out the area :) . THEN i can lay down & use the enema. i am up to holding it for an hour now!! i was only holding it for 2 to 10 minutes at first. it does get easier.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 1/17/2008 7:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, all. I am picking up the meds today and will give this a try.
Ash 39 NH, vegetarian
Diagnosed with UC July 06 (I think 6/6/6) during 10 day hospitalization
Current meds: Asacol 12, Imuran 150mg
Centrum Silver, Primadophilus Reuteri, DHA-Omega 3, L-glutamine

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 1/17/2008 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Just some thoughts re rowasa:

all the suggestions re getting the air out first are very important, but in this vein my husband found a very big difference between brand name rowasa and generic. He initially was given generic and perhaps the medication is the same but the bottle is made of less flexible material making it nearly impossible to deliver all the medication as the plastic is so hard to squeeze. Also the tip felt more harsh to him

Also do be prepared for staining which God cannot remove on sheets and toilet seats. It IS helpful to keep handy disinfectant wipes in the bathroom but mere flushing causes splashes on the lid .

Re retention, the first nights are character building as one cannot fathom how to retain for the night. BUT you have to believe that even a couple of hours does something and as time goes by one can retain longer and longer and then perhaps by 10 days the whole night.

This forum is just so helpful. Rowasa did not help my husband who is now on cyclosporin and imuran but we wish we could get to the point where rowasa may help retain remission. we are not there yet.
Cheers, Chloe
Prednisone 50 mg
Rowesa at night
Husband diagnosed Ulcerative Colitis Nov 2 07

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 2/27/2008 11:11 PM (GMT -6)   
i'm new to this too - i had a flex sig yesterday and the fleets enema prep was rough. tonite is my first rowasa dose (generic) and i seem to be able to hold without a problem though. am i doing it wrong, or am i just lucky?

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30828
   Posted 2/28/2008 2:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I had no problem holding them (Salofalk) in after the first minute or so of having the urge.

Welcome bluepurl...

I can't say enough how good rectal meds are....remember that they are used for treatment and must be tapered to maintenance dosage. I've used them for over 19 years....

Think about the options...use them faithfully and they can serve you well for a verrrrrry long time.

*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 2/29/2008 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks! for the last 2 years doc & i thought it was ibs... now is just a matter of lots of tests to pin down what's actually going on. i'm so glad i found this site - i felt so clueless when the walgreens guy handed me this giant box.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 2/29/2008 3:10 AM (GMT -6)   
As a person in your position when first using Rowasa I experienced the same issues you were. I use the real Rowasa but either way your going to have to keep up using it. Just go a little bit at a time. And you will get there and if you have issues with Rowasa, try to go with the real version. I totally was saved by peoples warnings. This board rules. Everyone is dead on. I love everyone on this thing.
Jeff, 23, Diagnosed July 2007 probably had it since 2005 but no real symptoms till July 2007 *Left Sided UC*
Lialda - 2.4mg 2x Day
Rowasa 1x (for spot treating and flare ups)
Centrum Multi-Vitamin 1X Day
Lexipro- 1x Day 10Mg
Ambien- 1x Day 10mg
Omega 3 Fish Oil- 2x Day

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