Mesalamine Enema and VSL#3

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 10/5/2008 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 37 yrs old and have never used an enema before! :)
I am currently on 12 Asacol per day and 15mg of prednisone.
My dr. has just prescribed mesalamine enemas every day for the next 14 days. The hope is to bring this down afterward to 2 a week.
Here is my silly question...... do you do it yourself or have someone else do it for you?????
My doctor has also suggested the probiotic VSL#3.  He said he has seen amazing results with it and has had some patients who were able to stop all prescription meds and use only this probiotic to stay in remission.
I am curious about others success and not such good luck with it.
Did you use powder or pill form??????
I want to know if anyone has had any luck in having their insurance cover it for them?????
Thanks to all and anyone who has valuable info to share!

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 31004
   Posted 10/5/2008 11:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Miclle...I've never used the VSL#3..I use other probiotics.

You can administer the enema the directions.

You might have to use the enemas nightly for longer than the two week period...see where you go from there. Did the doc give you refills?

You will have to taper to every second night, every third night (which will bring you to twice a week)..etc over a period of time, not abruptly drop the dosage.

Maybe if you do well on them, you won't have to do pred again.

Is this the same doc who put you on pred initially?

*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 4(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  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 Sep 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 10/6/2008 5:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Quincy...thanks for your reply.
I have been teasing my husband all weekend that he will have to prove his love for me by giving me the enemas!
A true test of love!!!

Yes...this is the same dr. who initially put me on pred in August when I was first diagnosed.
I did not realize the enema will have to be tapered.... I will have to call the Dr. since I must have misunderstood the instructions.
Is the taper for withdrawel reasons or for the chance of a flare up?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 10/6/2008 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been using VSL#3 capsules for about 2 months now, and it has helped me quite a bit. Of course, I can't get my insurance to pay for it, and I'm taking 6 caps a day, which turns into one mighty expensive habit really quick! I did find out that if I get a doctor's note saying I need to take the VSL#3, I can use my payflex account to cover the cost, but again, I'm still paying full price out of pocket. You can always try talking to your insurance company though.

Having said that VSL#3 is helping me, I will now tell you to try other, less expensive probiotics. It is possible that you will find one that helps that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Check people's signatures for what they are using and try a couple of different ones. Right now I'm just getting a flare under control, but once I'm stable again, I plan to ween myself off the VSL#3 and try something else. Quite frankly, I don't see how most people can afford to use it regularly.

Tapering the enemas is for the same reason you taper off prednisone. If you suddenly stop, there is a chance of a flare. Mesalamine and prednisone are not like antibiotics, where you take them, they do their thing, and you're all better, end of story. They are maintenance meds, and once your body adapts to their presence, it needs time to readjust. Slowly lowering dosages helps your body get used to not having them around anymore. I hope that made sense.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort enema, Prednisone (trying to taper down)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 10/6/2008 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Brandon...thank you.
I couldnt beleive the price of the VSL#3....that is crazy!
My Dr. did also suggested Culturelle (?) but he prefers VSL.
Since I was just diagnosed in August...I am still so new to all of this
I think this illness really sucks and am trying to learn as much about it as I can
I hear good stories and horror stories so I am a anxious about what lies ahead for me
I am out of work right now so paying for all these meds is taking a big toll on my finances
Thanks again for your feedback
I really appreciate it
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