Asacol Foam - question for those outside of USA who use it

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julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/1/2008 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone. It's been a while since I posted here. Been feeling pretty ok and just trying not to think too much about my colitis. I'm sure you know how that is.

I have an urgent question for those who are knowledgeable about the Asacol rectal foam:

I am travelling and can purchase Asacol foam where I am, which I want to do since we can't get it in the States. I have a prescription and can get quite a bit (I think) to take home with me. I was asked at the pharmacy whether I wanted 2g or 4g and I didn't know. I asked for what was more common and got the 2g. [The prescription I had didn't say which kind -- just once at night since the doctor is American and didn't know what my choices would be here.]

When I got the package, I was REALLY surprised. A 1 week supply is 3 times as big a box as my 1 week of Cortifoam. There are separate aerosol cans for each night with a separate little plastic tube to put on each. So... here are my questions:

1) Does 2g or 4 gram refer to the size of the dose or the strength? Will I get a bigger canister with 4 gram? Or just stronger stuff?

2) Do you really put the little plastic tub on the can and shoot directly into your rectum? American Cortifoam comes with an applicator that you use separately from the can. It specifically says: don't shoot this directly into your bum. (OK, it says it a little differently :)

3) Do you get more than one dose out of one can? I filled my American applicator from the can it seems like it it easily the size of two doses of Cortifoam. I know they are different things, but it seems like a lot of foam for one night.

All advice will be appreciated. I have about 3 days before I have to leave and will need to fill the prescription as soon as possible. I am trying to decide whether I should get the 4g (if it's bigger canisters) and just use one canister several times for a few nights. I'm also trying to figure out how much I should try to get.

Many, many thanks!!
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/1/2008 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Oops. I updated my profile. Obviously, I've found that 5ASA drugs can work for me. Been taking Lialda with success for the past 3 months. And I'm pretty sure that I can only tolerate the foam -- not liquid or suppositories-- which is why I really want to try Asacol foam and get off the Cortifoam. I've been REALLY anxious to stop using the Cortifoam, but it's the only rectal med I can tolerate.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


Knitty_Cat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 12/2/2008 5:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Howdy!

I'm a regular user of the Salofalk version of this medication (same medication, different manufacturer) so I'll have a go at answering your questions.

1) Mine doesn't say 2g or 4g, how it works is that each squirt of foam delivers 1g. So you just do do the number of squirts that you need. 2 squirts for 2g is the normal dose. I honestly don't know if 4g of your med will come in a different sized cannister or not. I would guess that the cannister would be the same size but the concentration would be more in the 4g, but I'm just basing that on the Salofalk liquid enemas, which are the same size for 2g and 4g but just have different concentrations of the drug.

2) Yep! Put the applicator on, shake the can, insert up your bum and apply the necessary number of squirts. You might have a different applicator from mine but I have two pieces of advice. First is to add some lube to the applicator. It's not already lubed and it can be a sharp little thing. Second thing is to wash and dry some of the applicators rather than just throwing them out. My little cannister comes with 7 applicators but I can get 8-10 doses out of a can so obviously have to re-use some of the applicators.

3) As above, I get 8-10 applications of two squirts (2g) each out of each can. Don't compare it to the Cortifoam, they are different. I would say that the asacol foam uses heaps less per dose because the force from the can sends it up quite far (that's just my feeling compared to the time I was on Cortifoam). It is essential to do the application of foam like the directions say and not use your cortifoam applicator.

I guess it does take up more room compared to cortifoam, but you really should compare it to asacol enemas, which is what it is replacing. I went overseas for 3 weeks a while back and brought enough Salofalk foam to cope with using it nearly every day if I had to (in case I flared. I usually just do 2 a week for maintenance). That only meant two little boxes in my luggage. Taking 18 or so rowasa liquid enemas with me would have been a real headache. I love this foam!

If I were you I'd get the 4g - since you can't get it normally in the US, might as well get as much of the drug as you can while it is available to you.

I don't check healingwell regularly at the moment but everyone should feel free to send me an email if you have questions about the 5asa foam. It's strange, I've been flare free for 20 months now (due to introducing the two maintenances doses of foam into my schedule) and really happy and living life to the full. However, for the (increasingly rare) times that I do think about having UC, I get more down than I used to. So I've been taking a little holiday from thinking about it! I used to research and read about it all the time when I was sicker and found it quite interesting but now it makes me more down than it used to. It's strange how our mind copes with these things.

Anyway, I'll make a point of checking here in case you have any other questions.

Emma
Left Sided UC
Maintenance Meds: Salofalk tablets (Asacol) 2 tablets 4 times daily (4gm total) plus 2 Salofalk foam enemas per week.
Flare Meds: Salofalk enemas and/or Colifoam
Oat bran 60grams daily, Metamuscil and multivitamins


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/2/2008 6:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Emma, you are the best! Thank you so much!

I'm so happy to have this info. I will chat with the local pharmacist to find out the exact difference between the 2 and 4 gram versions. Then, I will enjoy watching her response when I ask for 12 boxes of the stuff. I think I will have to explain that I'm stocking up (and not giving it as Christmas presents)!

I hadn't thought about the fact that the applicator it comes with along with the oomf of the aerosol will get the medicine up further. That makes a lot of sense. I will have to conquer my fear of propelling myself across the room. (ok, just kidding.)

I'm so happy to hear that you have been flare free for 20 months. That's just great and very inspiring, especially to those who might think that maintenance drugs aren't worth the effort. I agree that sometimes it's nice to take a break from the research online. When I'm down, it's very nice to have the company here. It's also nice to be able to share some tips; I like the balance.

I hope that others are as amused as I am that I am actually very excited to purchase a suitcase full of rectal foam. There are sentences that I thought I would never write... that's one of them!

Thank you again!
julee
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Lialda, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 12/2/2008 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
It's an absolute blessing that Knitty_Cat (Emma) has been sharing info on the 5-ASA foam with us over the past year. Julee, I'm so glad that you're able to lay hands on it!!!!!!!!!! Maybe we UCers in the U.S. & Canada have to set up group tours abroad to purchase this med in bulk. It would serve the local pharmaceuticals right-- for forcing us to buy their bloomin' suppositories that cost a mint & are messy to use. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 12/9/2008 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Julee-- have you tried it yet? I'm wondering whether the direct aerosol applicator is the reason we can't get this in the U.S. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 12/14/2008 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 12/16/2008 10:48 PM (GMT -6)   
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