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Canasa is a rectal suppository containing mesalamine to treat ulcerative colitis and proctitis. It works locally in the colon, inhibiting inflammatory chemicals to reduce symptoms like rectal bleeding and abdominal pain. The FDA-approved medication is prescribed based on the severity of the condition. Common side effects include diarrhea, nausea & skin rash, while serious side effects like kidney problems and liver failure are rare. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding dosage and administration. Canasa should be stored at room temperature and away from direct heat and light.

Product Overview

Canasa is an aminosalicylate anti-inflammatory agent used to treat ulcerative colitis and proctitis. Mesalamine works locally in the colon to inhibit the production of inflammatory chemicals, relieving symptoms such as rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Canasa is FDA-approved and is commonly prescribed for treating mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, including ulcerative proctitis. The recommended dosage of Canasa varies depending on the condition being treated. For ulcerative proctitis, the usual dosage is one suppository inserted into the rectum once daily at bedtime. For mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, the typical dosage is one suppository inserted inside the rectum twice daily, morning and evening. 

Maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis usually requires one suppository inserted into the rectum at bedtime. Dosage adjustments may be made by your healthcare professional based on your response to treatment and the severity of your condition. Canasa should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. It comes as a suppository that you insert into your rectum once each day at bedtime for 3 to 6 weeks. After insertion, try to retain the suppository in your rectum for at least 1 to 3 hours or longer if possible. It is important to stay well hydrated during treatment with Canasa and to drink plenty of fluids while taking the medication.

Common side effects of Canasa include diarrhea, nausea, skin rash, tired feeling, gas, stomach pain or cramps, flu symptoms, headache, rectal pain, constipation, sore throat, pain when inserting the suppository, dizziness, vomiting, and fever. Serious side effects may include kidney problems, acute intolerance syndrome, allergic reactions, liver problems, serious skin reactions, sun sensitivity, and kidney stones. If you experience any serious side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Uses of  Canasa

  • Treats Ulcerative Colitis

How to Use Canasa?


Strengths and Forms

Canasa comes as a suppository that you take through your rectum (insert into your rectum). Canasa suppositories are available in only one strength: 1,000 milligrams (mg).

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients 

  • Ulcerative Proctitis: The usual dosage is one suppository inserted into the rectum once daily at bedtime or as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Mild to Moderate Ulcerative Colitis: The typical dosage is one suppository (1000 mg) inserted into the rectum twice daily, morning and evening, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Maintenance of Remission in Ulcerative Colitis: The usual dosage is one suppository (1000 mg) inserted into the rectum at bedtime or as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Dosage Adjustment:  Your healthcare expert may adjust your dosage as per your response to treatment and the severity of your condition.

[Note: These recommendations may vary from person to person. Discuss them with your doctor; they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

  • Use Canasa precisely as prescribed by your doctor. Your healthcare expert will recommend you on the duration of Canasa usage.
  • When using Canasa, insert the entire suppository into the rectum without cutting or breaking it in half.
  • Use Canasa once each day at bedtime for 3 to 6 weeks. It is not known if It is safe and effective for longer than 6 weeks.
  • After inserting Canasa in your rectum, keep (hold) the suppository in your rectum for at least 1 to 3 hours or longer if possible.
  • You need to stay well hydrated during treatment with Canasa. Ensure that you drink enough fluids while taking Canasa.

[Note: Your medical expert will decide the right amount for you based on your health condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Canasa 1000 mg Work?

Canasa 1000 mg is a rectal suppository containing mesalamine, a drug used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases. Mesalamine is an aminosalicylate anti-inflammatory agent that works locally in the colon. It blocks the production of inflammatory chemicals such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes, key players in the inflammatory process. By reducing inflammation, Canasa helps to relieve symptoms such as rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The medication is designed for rectal administration, allowing it to directly target the inflamed areas of the colon, providing localized relief with minimal systemic absorption.

Important Safety Information

Side Effects

Common Side Effects

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Tired feeling
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Flu symptoms
  • Headache
  • Rectal pain
  • Constipation
  • Sore throat
  • Pain when inserting the suppository
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

Serious Side Effects

  • Kidney problems: Certain tests will be done before and during treatment.
  • Acute intolerance syndrome and allergic reactions: Symptoms include cramps, fever, abdominal pain, headache, bloody diarrhea, rash, chest pain, shortness of breath, decreased urine, fatigue, and eye inflammation.
  • Liver problems: Symptoms include yellowing of eyes, flu-like symptoms, itchy skin, nausea or vomiting, and fatigue.
  • Serious skin reactions: Symptoms include blisters or peeling of skin, mouth sores, blisters around the mouth and eyes, high fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and skin rash.
  • Sun sensitivity: Limit sun exposure, use sunscreen, and wear protective clothing.
  • Kidney stones: Experienced symptoms include severe pain in the side or back and blood in urine.

[Note: This list does not include all possible side effects of this medication. Always consult with your healthcare expert for medical advice about side effects.]


  • Kidney Problems
      • Risk factors: History of kidney disease, taking medications that cause kidney damage, taking NSAIDs, and taking sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).
      • Mesalamine (Canasa) can cause severe kidney problems and even kidney failure, especially if you have a history of kidney disease. Avoid medications that cause kidney damage, such as NSAIDs. Your healthcare provider may perform routine tests to check how your kidney functions before and during treatment with mesalamine (Canasa).
  • Liver Problems
      • Risk factors: History of liver disease.
      • Mesalamine (Canasa) can cause liver failure in individuals with a history of liver disease. Inform your healthcare provider about any liver problems before starting mesalamine (Canasa).
  • Intolerance Syndrome
      • Risk factors: Taking Canasa or sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).
      • Some individuals may not tolerate mesalamine (Canasa) well, leading to mesalamine-induced acute intolerance syndrome. Stop using mesalamine (Canasa) and notify your healthcare expert immediately if you experience symptoms such as stomach pain, cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, headache, weakness, itchy skin, pink eye, or a rash.
  • Serious Allergic and Skin Reactions
      • Risk factors: Allergy to mesalamine (Canasa), allergy to salicylates, history of severe skin reactions, and taking sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).
      • Mesalamine can cause various allergic and skin reactions, some of which can be life-threatening. Discontinue use and seek emergency medical help if you experience symptoms like itchiness, red rash (hives), shortness of breath, chest tightness, or swollen lips, tongue, face, or eyes. Avoid mesalamine (Canasa) if allergic to salicylates or any medications containing mesalamine.
  • Sensitivity to Sunlight
    • Risk factors: Excessive exposure to sunlight, history of sensitivity to sunlight, history of skin conditions (e.g., eczema), taking other medications causing sensitivity to sunlight, taking sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).


  • Allergies: Please inform your doctor or pharmacist beforehand if you have allergies to mesalamine, other aminosalicylates (such as balsalazide, olsalazine), salicylates (like aspirin, salsalate), sulfasalazine, or if you have any other allergies. Additionally, be aware that inactive ingredients in the product might also trigger allergic reactions.
  • Medical history: Before using this medication, disclose your medical history to your medical expert, especially if you have kidney problems, liver disease, pancreas problems (pancreatitis), or inflammation of the sac around the heart (pericarditis).
  • Sun sensitivity: This medication may increase your sensitivity to the sun, particularly if you have skin conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema. Limit sun exposure, use sunscreen regularly, and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Notify your doctor if you experience signs of sunburn or skin blisters/redness.
  • Surgery: Before undergoing surgery, inform your doctor or dentist about all the products or treatments you use, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs & herbal products.
  • Children and teenagers: Those under 18 years old should avoid aspirin or aspirin-like medications (such as salicylates) if they have chickenpox, flu, or any unknown illness or if they recently got a live virus vaccine (like the varicella vaccine) unless advised by a medical expert because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
  • Pregnancy: Use this medication during pregnancy only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and precautions with your doctor.
  • Breastfeeding: This medication can transfer into breast milk and might cause unwanted effects on a newborn. It’s essential to consult your doctor before breastfeeding.


Canasa 1000 mg should not be used by individuals with known or suspected hypersensitivity to salicylates and aminosalicylates or to any ingredients in the suppository vehicle.

Missed Dose

If you have missed a dose of Canasa by a couple of hours, insert the suppository as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time for your next dose, leave the missed one and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Insert the next dose at your usual bedtime. Do not double the dose to catch up.

[Note: If you have missed a dose of Canasa and are unsure regarding the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]


In case of an overdose of Canasa (mesalamine), seek immediate medical attention as it can have serious consequences. Symptoms of an overdose may indicate nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, rapid breathing, ringing in the ears, headache, and dizziness.

[Note: If you have consumed more than the recommended dose, seek medical help immediately or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]


  • Keep Canasa stored at room temperature.
  • Refrigeration is optional.
  • Avoid storing it in the bathroom.
  • Keep away from direct heat, light, and humidity.
  • Prevent contact with surfaces susceptible to staining, such as fabrics, flooring, and painted areas.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare expert the proper disposal of unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its proper storage.]

Canasa Interactions

  • Nephrotoxic Agents: Canasa can interact with medications that are known to be harmful to the kidneys. This includes, but is not limited to, certain diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and some antibiotics. The combination can potentially increase the risk of kidney damage.
  • NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs): Using NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin with Canasa may increase the risk of kidney problems and worsen gastrointestinal side effects or other inflammation.
  • Azathioprine and 6-Mercaptopurine: These immunosuppressive drugs are often used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases. Combining these with Canasa can increase the risk of blood disorders such as leukopenia and thrombocytopenia.
  • Anticoagulants (e.g., Warfarin): Mesalamine can interfere with the effectiveness of anticoagulants, potentially altering the blood clotting time and increasing the risk of bleeding.
  • Diuretics: When combined with Canasa, certain diuretics can further elevate the risk of kidney damage and potentially lead to other electrolyte imbalances.
  • Sulfasalazine: There may be an increased risk of side effects when mesalamine is used with sulfasalazine, another drug used to treat inflammation and pain in health conditions like ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Iron Supplements: This may disrupt the absorption of mesalamine, possibly diminishing its efficacy.

[Note: This is not a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Canasa. Make sure to notify your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines & herbal products you’re taking.]

Canasa Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose the most suitable dose for you. We advise against using any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare expert. Taking them by yourself may lead to serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the recommended duration for using Canasa?

The typical course of Canasa lasts 3 to 6 weeks, depending on your symptoms. No specific data is available on the safety or efficacy of using Canasa beyond 6 weeks. If you feel that Canasa is not effectively controlling your symptoms after using it as prescribed for 6 weeks, it’s essential to consult your healthcare professional. They may recommend switching to a different medication.

Is there pain associated with inserting Canasa into the rectum?

Mesalamine can occasionally cause pain or discomfort during the insertion of the suppository into the rectum. If you experience persistent or worsening rectal pain, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider immediately. Improper technique during insertion can also contribute to discomfort. Hence, it’s advisable to review the instructions for use or consult your pharmacist if you have any questions regarding the proper use of Canasa.

Is it safe to discontinue Canasa if my symptoms improve?

Canasa is prescribed to manage inflammation in the rectum, so it’s recommended to continue using it as directed by your healthcare provider, even if your symptoms improve. Abruptly stopping treatment or altering your dosage without consulting your provider can lead to a recurrence of your condition. Always follow the prescribed treatment plan diligently and consult your medical expert before making any changes.

Can Canasa be used during pregnancy?

The safety of using mesalamine during pregnancy has not been established due to a lack of studies. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid using this medication if you are pregnant or planning to conceive to minimize any potential risks to your unborn baby.

Is it safe to use Canasa while breastfeeding?

Canasa can pass into breast milk and may cause diarrhea and other unknown effects in breastfed infants. If you are considering breastfeeding while using this medication, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider. If you need to use mesalamine and are breastfeeding, your provider can help you explore alternative feeding options for your baby.

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