How long to "try" & wait to have a bowel after taking mesalamine?

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Cadillac Lover
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 2/9/2009 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
So I usually end up having to go to the bathroom at least a couple hours after taking the med. I'm wondering if a lot of it is coming right out because I see a little bit of white in the toilet from the mesalamine and the whole color of the bowl is a lighter brown rather than darker liquid as usual. Sorry for being so detailed I don't know how else to go around it hah. Any help is appreciated.
Diagnosed with UC summer of 08.
Currently taking asacol 1600mg 3 x a day, Prednisone for 50 days & Mesalamine rectal meds twice a day.
Currently having a flare.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 15902
   Posted 2/9/2009 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I try to use it late at night or after my last BM so it stays in all night. I always assumed that if you have a BM after using rectal meds that you have lost most of the effectiveness of the meds. When I was at my worst, there was no way I could hold the meds in all night unfortunately. Hopefully I am wrong and it doesn't all go in the toilet.
Diagnosed with proctitis in March 2007 - Treated with Canasa 2x Daily
Diagnosed with UC December but had symptoms months ago - Treating with Asacol (feel hopeless)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 387
   Posted 2/9/2009 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   

I don't know what the official time rule is for keeping in the mesalamine, but for me I am usually pretty pleased if I can keep it in for two hours or so.  I find that the more I need those "insertion" meds, the harder they are to keep inside and since you are taking two doses a day, you may be getting enough benefit especially if you are keeping in one longer than the other. 

With the suppositories, if I could not keep them in longer than an hour or two, I would insert another after I had voided. 

I also really concentrate on squeeeezing those sphinster muscles and do some deep breathing because sometimes after a minute or two the cramps pass and I can hold off voiding for another hour.
It is truly a humbling method, but the benefits of rectal medication make it almost worth it!  No, I joke.  It is totally worth it.
UC diagnosed 10/05, first symptoms 1983
6mp * asacol 12/daily * rowasa pm * cortifoam am 
 Culturelle Probiotic - prilosec - metamucil capsules
past rx: colozal, lialda, canasa
i can't complain, but sometimes i still do.  lifes been good to me so far.  -joe walsh

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 2/9/2009 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
You should be able to look up the minimum time on the instruction sheet (or the company website); sorry I don't remember, but I think it's around 2 hours. Of course, the longer, the better.

I assume you're talking about suppositories. I use mine right before bed, and still see suppository in the toilet bowl in the first BM to follow (which is often 10-12 hours later), so I don't think what you're seeing is cause for concern.
41, female
Dx ulcerative proctitis, 3-5 cm, June 2008. Still flaring? Not sure.
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories and 1 tsp smooth texture Metamucil nightly
25 mg hydrocortisone suppositories (tapering) and 1 Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra in a.m.
Effexor 37.5, Remeron 30 mg, and Trazodone 75 mg for sleep/anxiety (clonazepam as needed)
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid
Had some success with acupuncture
Osteopenia and other assorted ailments

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 2/9/2009 4:38 PM (GMT -6)   
My instructions that came with the enema's say 20 minutes is how long you are supposed to lay with out moving. GI doc says to hold in at least 2 hours if possible... all night is better.
38 yr old male, NE Ohio, diagnosed Aug 2008, but been with symptom since Nov 2007
30 mg pred, 9 balsalazide, rowesa nightly, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol, 2 probiotic, 2 aloe vera tabs
Following gluten free diet as well as spinach/sunflower regime
**down to 25 mg of pred 12/25/08 **down to 20mg of pred 1/7/09**down to 17.5 mg 1/22/09
**down to 15 mg of pred 2/3/08
MED CHANGE: 1/13/09-- 4 Lialda, 2 Pamine Forte, 1 Florajen3 probiotic, 2 Aloe Vera tabs, Rowesa every other night, 20 mg of Pred, Lomotil as needed, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol

Eva Lou
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3440
   Posted 2/10/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
My GI always said that even if you can only hold it in for like 10 minutes, a lot of the med still stays inside you, lining the walls of the rectum & colon. And it's so true- the wrose you need the meds the harder it is to hold 'em! I could not hold those darned steroid enemas for anything... & I was flaring pretty badly when I had them. What a waste- I would literally put it in, squeeze like half the bottle, then jump right up & sit on the toilet. I think I wound up on oral pred anyway... The rowasa are easier, but then again, they don't do much for a severe flare. I tend to think of them more as maintenance, or for little "blips".

diagnosed with UC '02
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Fiber supplement

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