Canasa Suppositories

Generic Name: Mesalamine (me-SAL-a-meen)Brand Name: Canasa

Canasa Suppositories are used for:

Treating various forms of mild to moderate inflammation of the colon.

Canasa Suppositories are a 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA). It works by preventing the production of substances that cause the inflammation of the colon.

Do NOT use Canasa Suppositories if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Canasa Suppositories, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen), or salicylates (eg, aspirin)
  • you are younger than 18 years old and you have the flu or chickenpox or have received a live vaccine (eg, varicella, influenza) within the past 6 weeks
  • you are taking probenecid or sulfinpyrazone

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Canasa Suppositories:

Some medical conditions may interact with Canasa Suppositories. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines (including sulfasalazine), foods, or other substances
  • if you have had a stroke, bleeding in the brain, or an aneurysm
  • if you have a history of liver or kidney problems, pancreas problems (eg, pancreatitis), Kawasaki syndrome, or a rheumatic (inflammatory) disease (eg, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, inflammation of the sac around your heart)
  • if you have the flu or chickenpox, or if you have recently received a live vaccine (eg, varicella, influenza)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Canasa Suppositories. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Ginkgo biloba extract because side effects, such as increased bleeding, may occur
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) because they may decrease Canasa Suppositories's effectiveness
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg, acetazolamide), insulin, meglitinide antidiabetics (eg, repaglinide), sulfonylureas (eg, glipizide), or valproic acid because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Canasa Suppositories
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril), anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), probenecid, spironolactone, or sulfinpyrazone because their effectiveness may be decreased by Canasa Suppositories

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Canasa Suppositories may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Canasa Suppositories:

Use Canasa Suppositories as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Wash your hands before and after using Canasa Suppositories. If the suppository is too soft to use, put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. You may also run cold water over it. Remove the wrapper. Moisten the suppository with cool water. Lie down on your side. Insert the pointed end of the suppository into the rectum. Use your finger to push it in completely.
  • Do not handle the suppository too much. This will cause the suppository to melt before it can be inserted.
  • For best results, keep the suppository inserted for at least 1 to 3 hours.
  • Use Canasa Suppositories for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of Canasa Suppositories, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Canasa Suppositories.

Important safety information:

  • Canasa Suppositories may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Canasa Suppositories with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Canasa Suppositories may stain clothing, other fabrics, or surfaces. Avoid contact of Canasa Suppositories with your clothes, other fabrics, or surfaces.
  • Canasa Suppositories may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Canasa Suppositories. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Some patients may experience an intolerance reaction to Canasa Suppositories. Signs of intolerance are very similar to symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. They may include severe or persistent stomach pain or cramping, blood diarrhea, fever, headache, or rash. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.
  • Salicylates have been linked to a serious illness called Reye syndrome. Do not give Canasa Suppositories to a child or teenager who has the flu, chickenpox, or a viral infection. Contact your doctor with any questions or concerns.
  • Some of these products contain sulfites. Sulfites may cause an allergic reaction in some patients (eg, asthma patients). If you have ever had an allergic reaction to sulfites, ask your pharmacist if your product has sulfites in it.
  • Lab tests, including kidney function, liver function, or complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Canasa Suppositories. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Canasa Suppositories with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially blood problems.
  • Canasa Suppositories should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Canasa Suppositories while you are pregnant. It is not known if Canasa Suppositories are found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Canasa Suppositories, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Canasa Suppositories:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; gas; hair loss; headache; mild stomach discomfort or pain; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or coffee ground-like vomit; bloody stools; chest pain; dark urine; fever, chills, or sore throat; severe headache; shortness of breath; sudden or severe stomach pain or cramping; unusual bruising or bleeding; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; fast or difficult breathing; fever; headache; hearing loss; ringing in the ears; seizures; sweating; vomiting of blood; weakness.

Proper storage of Canasa Suppositories:

Store Canasa Suppositories below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Do not freeze. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Canasa Suppositories out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Canasa Suppositories, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Canasa Suppositories are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Canasa Suppositories. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

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