Have enemas worked for anyone?

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/11/2008 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'll give a little background about myself I guess. I'm 19, was diagnosed around 14 or so. The doctor gave my Salofaulk suppositories and they did their job. about 2 years ago my UC came back with a vengeance and suppositories didn't work. According to the gastroenterologist, it's moved higher up in my colon. Colonoscopies suck by the way. sad

My doctor wanted to give me pills but back then I couldn't swallow even a tictac without gagging so these last 2 years I've gone on unmedicated. Until recently it was just an annoyance, but now it's seriously affecting my life and I need to get it under control.

Right now I am on Mezavant (I can swallow pills now eyes ). I'm also supposed to be taking a Pentasa enema every night before bed. I can only retain enemas for about 30mins and I don't know if thats enough. Also, I don't take it every night because its so unpleasant and after I pass it, I still need to get out of bed again and again, it's almost like it aggravates my bowls..

So, anyways, do I need to take the enema every night for a month to see a positive change? If thats what it takes I will do it, but since I feel worse after I take it, my motivation is shot.

Advice/stories of your own please!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 12/11/2008 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, I sympathise about the difficulty with the enemas. I refused to take them while in hospital during my first flare (although that was partly due to the fact that I thought they were a "cleansing" enema - I didn't realise they're supposed to be retained, as nobody explained.
I've been on steroids since the end of August for all but around 6 days, and I'm desperate to achieve remission, as I'd rather avoid switching to aziathropone if possible. My GI has given me steroid enemas (a whole month's supply). I had a real problem with the idea of shoving something up my bum and squeezing - it's just not a nice thought. Not sure I can give you any help on the physical side (I've seen some posts on here with some useful tips, though). However, on the mental side, I've got so fed up of the constant diarrhoea etc, that I decided that I'd try and try the enemas. My GI said not to worry about retaining all of the enemas, just hold on for as long as you can to as much as you can! Basically, I have a good book that I start reading just as soon as I've given myself the enema - it helps to distract me, so I'm not constantly thinking "is it going to stay". Can't always keep it in, but it does seem to be getting easier as time passes, because I'm not so worried about it. Still keep a large towel underneath me in case of leakage / accident, though. For me, it's a case of not thinking about what I'm doing - I've managed to make it part of my routine, so it's become more natural or normal, which keeps the anxiety down, and is helping me more and more with retaining it.
I hope you're able to give the enemas a go every night - I'm sure it'll get easier for you over time.
UC - diagnosed Sep 2008 - Not seen GI since then...
Omeprazole 2 x 20mg
Prednisolone 20mg
Calcium (Adcal-D3) 3000mg
Mesalazine 8 x 500mg
Mesalazine foam enema
Multivitamins x 2
Omega 3
Probiotic (acidophilus)
Ferrous Sulphate 3 x 200mg

Unable to tolerate Paracetamol

Foods for me to avoid:
Any types of green leaf - big time.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 460
   Posted 12/11/2008 5:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes ASA meds. make people worse (like me!). Maybe you should try steroid enemas to see if you can get some relief with them.
Female, Age 37
Diagnosed w/c.diff 7/02 when pregnant w/1st and only child during 2nd trimester(wasn't on antibiotics)
C.diff flare within weeks of delivering baby 1/03
Diagnosed with UC 2/03
Current Meds:
75mg 6-MP
Cortenema as needed
Ferrex Forte
Sacchromyces Boulardii 

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30984
   Posted 12/11/2008 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi..yes, the enemas and oral 5ASA have worked for me for 20 years.

You should stick with the enemas as best you can....

How many bms are you having during the day?

How many mezavant are you taking daily? are you taking them twice or thrice daily?

When did you start the enemas.

Yes, you have to use the enemas nightly. You went so long without meds...it'll take a while for the rectal inflammation to calm down.

One thing you could do is use the suppository during day after your morning bm(s), and use the enema at night.

You could also try to white-knuckle it through the urge to go ... it can pass .. or try to have a bm if you have the urge before you do the enema.

Make sure you stay on your left side so that it doesn't put any prssure on the area to expel it.

It takes time....pretty soon you'll improve.

It's true what glamourgirl states regarding not all UCers can take 5ASA meds...but for some, it can also seem worse before it gets better (as in my situation),

Hang tough...
Welcome to the forum!
*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 5th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate)....1 each  @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine (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 !!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 12/11/2008 8:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Best meds out there that I have tried yet are the enemas. I see immediate results usually the following day. I just lock myself in the bathroom and usually only use half of one, which is about 30 ml. I'll use the rest next time, or if for some reason it doesn't hold, I'll go ahead and use the second half. If I am feeling a little gassy or think I'll pass the enema as soon as I squirt it in I'll use a previous empty bottle and fill it with warm water. Use it first and make sure I can retain that. Then expel the water and do the regular enema. I usually will just lay a towel down beside the wall in the bathroom and lay there for 15 or 20 minutes once it gets in, then I can usually get up a go on. This is with the hydrocortisone enemas though, and they are a little thicker than the others.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Lialda 3 day
Vitamin E Enemas as needed

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 401
   Posted 12/11/2008 9:43 PM (GMT -6)   
a year later i can't believe i'm saying this, but i think the enemas were what got my daughter through her original flare and held her until the 6mp
kicked in. she was only 19 and i couldn't believe it but she was willing to stick with those su..ers. one was the steroid and the other was the messalamine.
i will keep them around just in case. if there's a chance it's worth the try. good luck.
Mom to 19 year old daughter diagnosed 11/07.
colazal 3 x3 daily
purinethol 6mp=50mg daily
culturelle probiotic 2 daily
chewable vitamin
xifaxan antibiotic 400mg 2x day soon to be weaned-done
Yaz birth control pill for cramps started around 2003

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/11/2008 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   
The only rectal meds I've had success with for my proctitis (inflammation of the rectom) is cortifoam steroid based enema.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

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