Scared to use Rowasa

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/9/2009 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
So I went to the doctor today to discuss my flare up. Against my will he prescribed me Rowasa, I wanted to take prednisone. But anyways...

After I administer the drug before bed am i going to have to go to the bathroom real bad? What does it feel like? Will it make my stomach hurt? Am i going to wake up in the middle of the night and have to run to the bathroom? I dont wanna take this stuff.

Ohh i also take 12 asacol a day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 6/9/2009 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I know how you feel.  I felt that way too when I was first prescribed Rowasa.  It really is not that bad, and it has saved me many times from going into an out of control flare.  I always make myself a bed of towels in the bathroom so that I can stay there for awhile after I have admisiterd the Rowasa.  Bring a book!!
Whether or not you are able to retain the medicine kind of depends on how bad your current flare is.  The first time I used Rowasa I had trouble retaining it the first couple of nights.  Other times it has been fine.  I usually have my most trouble with "going" in the morning, so by evening I am usually okay.  I think that your individual situation will determine how well you retain the meds.
I would take Rowasa over prednisone any day of the week!!  If it works for you, it gives you relief without all of the awful side effects of steriods.  Good luck!
35 year old female
diagnosed in April 2002
current RX:  remicade, vitamins
previous RX:  prednisone, asacol, 6mp, imuran, methotrexate injections

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 6/9/2009 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Use half of it to start if you need to. If you get stressed out about it and you will have to jump up and run to the BR. I'd probably lay in the BR the first few times I used it. You do not want to take pred if you don't have to. Lay on your left side with knee bent up and just try it. If it works well for you it beats the alternative. If half of it goes in ok, just lay there and chill out for a bit.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Golimumab study (100mg every 4 weeks)
L-Glutamine 5000 mg + 600 mg pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate
Probiotis/VitD3 5000IU+Ca/1000mg DHA

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 6/9/2009 4:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, you'd rather take pred than use a rowasa enema? I know the idea of an enema isn't fun, but the potential side effects from rowasa aren't anything like the potential side effects from pred.

I was in a severe flare (15+ urgent episodes of diarrhea a day) when I first started using rowasa, and surprisingly, I was able to hold them at LEAST half the night from the very first, and most often, the entire night. It didn't make my stomach hurt and never made my urgency and worse than it was already. It does feel a bit odd when it's going in, but it's really not that bad. I suggest you squeeze the air out of the bottle first, and use a bit of extra lube (the tip of the applicator should be pre-lubed) to make insertion a bit easier if you feel you need it.
Status: Remission since late May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa twice weekly, Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30986
   Posted 6/10/2009 12:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey, 20 years and I still don't "like" having to use them.

You may have the urge to go....but give it a minute to grunt and groam and squeeze your sphincter as tight as you can and wait for it to pass. It will.

Make sure you lay on your left side to administer it....have a garbage bag beside you to put the spent bottle so that you don't have to get up or move.

You might feel the urge to go in the middle of the night...depends on how much inflammation is in your rectum and how fast it reacts to that type of pressure (of what's in the rectum from the med).

If you were able to hold it in for a half will still do some good...the next night may be better.

I will avoid pred forever if I want to take it. It's not really a med to help you for all your flares for the rest of your life, I would advise you rethink the strategy of treatment. Kudos for your doc to prescribe Rowasa...some docs don't even do that and go for pred first-line..what's with that???

You will have to use the enemas nightly for until you are "normal" and you should taper them to a maintenance dosage...I have a good process for that, so can make suggestions if you hang tough through it.

Oh, welcome to the forum!!!

Where in the colon is your UC...throughout or limited?

12 is the highest dosage of Asacol...with the enemas you will probably be able to taper that dosage down a bit as well.

Keep us posted as to how the first night goes....

*Heather* Status: maintenance Asacol 6 daily + Salofalk enemas every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 x2 daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/10/2009 3:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks yall for you advice and words of wisdom! But I couldnt do it last night. I am going to though just not sure when...

When I first got diagnosed with UC my doctor put me on a very low dosage of pred to get better and it worked right away no side effects so thats why i say i would rather take pred.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 6/10/2009 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
If you find you have trouble tolerating it ask your GI about Canasa, it's a suppository. My GI said Rowesa is more effective, but I find I have a lot of trouble holding it in, so I am able to be more compliant with the Canasa. It's the same medicine, basically, but the liquid can cover the area better and stays in contact longer. Also, depending on your insurance the Canasa may be more expensive (my Rowesa copay is $10, vs $45 for the Canasa). I have prescriptions for both and I try to take the Rowesa most nights.

47 yr old female, dx'd UC April 27, 2006; mild arthritis in lower back, dx'd May 2008; Osteopenia dx'd 6/08 Finally achieved remission mid October 2008!!

16 Remicade infusions, current scheduled every 6 weeks: 1st: 7/21/07; most recent: 6/06/09; Current meds & supplements: Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Xanax as needed (rarely); Rowesa and/or Canasa; multivitamin w/folate; Culturelle; Fish oil capsules, calcium chews and/or Tums; Vitamin D;

Past meds: Prednisone 4/06-4/08; Entocourt EC; Asacol; Colazal; Venofer (iron) injections Dec '07; Imuran (extremely bad reaction 2/07); Protonix; Lexipro

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 6/10/2009 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   

I understand your preference for a short term prednisone - me too! 

However, having said that - you must give the enemas a try or suppositories or the foam if you can (it stays in better).  They would be must better in the long run.  I started with Rowasa and found I could not tolerate the medicine - mesalamines at all.  I used only 1/3 to 1/2 and doc said that was ok if I kept it in for about an hour.  Due to obesity, I do it on the toilet and don't lose much - it is difficult no matter what until you adjust.  I have also tried the steroid enemas and they were such a thin liquid - very messy.  But - all you need is to try them for a few days and you will know if it is going to help.  Because my UC is mostly in the rectum I wish I could use the rectal meds - can't say I didn't try.  I have used the suppositories which are very easy but they did not help me.


Senior - New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008   Tried, Colozal, steroid enemas, etc. - started working but severe side effects occurred. No mesalamines!!
Started on prednisone Feb.7, 2009 - tapering to 20 mg. - upped prenisone to 25mg. on my own (bleeding returned) - 6MP - 50 mg. 2/28/2009 - staying on 10 mg. prednisone also until visit with specialist.
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD, Gas-X, vitamins, Calcium/D
Tylenol for knees and arthritis.

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