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EXPERIENCE with CANASA Suppositories?


60 year old on disability due to several health issues that developed over the last 15 years. I haven’t aged very well. Moved from New Jersey to Virginia, not into computers so I go to the local library about once a week for access.

My Colitis:

At age 45 I quit smoking cigarettes after 28 years and after the nicotine withdrawal (I quit cold turkey) I developed UC. Turned out I’ve had either reactions or intolerance to the most often prescribed medications for IBD. This soon led to a reactive Arthritis and pain killers which exacerbated my bleeding. It’s like you just can’t win! I’m currently on Azathioprine (100mg),Apriso, Omega 3 caps and taking Canasa Suppositories for the past few months.

The Canasa seems to help the UC

but causes some other minor problems

such as itching and flatulence and loss of appetite.

They are used every night at bed time,

not a social attraction or a pleasent experience to insert.

I’m curious if anyone else is using Canasa and what if any side effects (positive or negative) you might be experiencing. Also since Tylenol no longer helps with pain I’ve gone back to taking Excedrin and putting up with the bleeding. I’ve tr ied topical lotions as well but they are only temporary fixes.I’M REALLY TRYING HARD TO FIND 300 WORDS TO FILL UP THIS SPACE – so forgive my rambling.
I’ve been enrolling in clinical trials searching for new or experimental solutions, tried acupuncture,diets,Bio-Feed Back,self-hypnosis,and any other alternative solutions, all to no avail.(Can’t believe I still have almost another 100 words to go). I’ve spent so much of my savings on Health Care that I’m now relient on Disability. Between running (okay not exactly running) to the bathroom and trying to move with the Arthritis I’m pretty much homebound and having great difficulty sleeping. My situation seems to be getting worse and I’d be happy if it would at least just stabilize! I’m trying to avoid surgery as I have had surgery for another problem and it hasn’t gone well. Once burned,twice shy. 300 WORDS!

written by Rick

Submitted in the Colitis Venting Area



23 thoughts on “EXPERIENCE with CANASA Suppositories?”

  1. Hi,
    I have used Canasa. It is the same medication as in your Apriso tabs, mesalamine, only coming in from the other end. You can get it in enema form as well – Rowasa. I’ve also used those. I agree that inserting stuff into your rectum is not that fun but you get used to it. You may find that if you went back to smoking 1/2 pack a day, it would probably help your colitis. You could also chew the gum as a healthier option. My advice to you is to keep on pestering your doctor until you get the outcome you desire – even if you end up having the surgery…

    best wishes,

    1. Sorry Rick. I know how freaking frustrating being in a flare that seems to go on forever is. I am there right now myself. I am taking 12 asacol (measlamine) tablets per day, and sometimes the pentasa enemas. Truthfully, I think it’s the colitis itself that takes the appetite away. I used to have a great appetite, until I got UC. Now, I am rarely what I would call ‘hungry’ or ‘starving’. Oh, how I long for those days! So sad…

      I didn’t have UC until after I quit smoking as well. This is all so weird, this correlation of stopping smoking and getting UC…so, Paul, will the gum work the same as the actual art of inhaling all those toxic chemicals in the cigs, do you know? I would definitely be willing to do that, but not start smoking again. That would lead to ceratin death, eventually. I don’t think it’s worth it…

      What are we all to do???


    2. Thanks for the info. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to inserting Canasa every night. Seems to be solidyfing ( Spelling? I mean to make solid) my stools.

    3. I’m 42 and developed UC after switching from cigarettes to e-cigs (which contain only nicotine) so it was definitely not nicotine that held my UC back. It was probably one of the toxic chemicals.
      This is all very new to me and the meds (lialda and canasa) are kicking my butt and my wallet. I just spent two solid days racked with fever and only thought to look up the side effects just now.
      I guess I’ll be putting in a call to my GI after getting my daughter on the bus in the morning.

  2. Hi Rick,
    When I was using Canasa Suppositories I did not experience the negative effects such as itching, flatulence or loss of appetite such as you have. I don’t feel that they helped me all that much so I don’t have a lot of positive results to tell you about….. however, just because they didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean they won’t help you. This UC is a weird disease, different things work for different folks.
    A change in diet will sometimes help us UCers. THE SCD diet has helped me some. I’m 66 years old and have had UC for 19 months.

    George in Napa

  3. Hi Rick,

    I used Canasa religiously for about 6 months – to try and improve my proctitis. Unfortunately, I didn’t see that much improvement. And, in fact, I did notice that the next day, quite often, my rectum seemed a bit “angrier” than it did the previous day. It’s possible that my system just didn’t agree with some of the fillers in the suppository. I haven’t used it in about a year…and don’t feel the need to use it. If I use anything in that region, I use a bit of Cortifoam. Hope that helps a bit.



    1. Once again, I have to agree with Doc. Actually, the suppositories, as well as the enemas, seem to make my back end ‘angrier’ as well. I think these forms of the drugs are something that ‘had’ to be invented, to get the meds up that end (the bottom of the colon), whilst taking pills orally, to arrive at the top end of the colon. Attack both ends, if you will…however, these forms certainly aren’t without their ‘problems’, ie, itching, burning, etc. Also, be advised that those little rubber finger suppository pushers, that are in the package of suppositories, can actually irritate the rectum as well…some people have an avders reaction to latex…I do!

      ‘Angry rectum’…I could not have put it better myself, Doc!


  4. Dear Rick, et al., I have Crohns-colitis/wrote the book “Living With C/C.” in it, I mention the correlation between nicotine and colitis (and in my case, Crohn’s), as being one of blood low to the digestive track, or lack of blood low in my case. Think about it: nicotine may in fact restrict blood flow to the colon — and I remember my Crohn’s acted up soon after I quit smoking — then, perhaps nicotine protects against ulcerative colitis? The transdermal patch might help—I even recall a study with the use if the patch with patients taking mesalazine when I was researching the book.

    Rick, your UC may have actually been kept at bay by smoking; of course nicotine in the form of inhaling those (wonderful) cigs, is incredibly harmful and may be linked to T-cell and immune system suppression (see., “Mechanisms of Disease: nicotine— a review of it’s actions in the context of gastrointestinal disease””, Nature).

    Since I am not shy on thus wonderful site Adam has created and maintains for us (shout-out, Adam!), I remember the feeling (I quit 12 years ago) of inhaling a cigarette with my morning coffe, and then having to move my bowels soon thereafter. I, too, quit cold turkey, Rick, and landed in the hospital with an impacted bowel soon thereafter. I’m glad I quit, though, but I wish I had known what I do now!

    A final note, for pain (since meds just numb and make me groggy), I use a Caster Pil pack, with great success! I bought a “kit” at the health food store: a bottle of pure Casto oil, a rectangular piece of wool; soak the wool in the oil, and apply across your belly. Put Saran wrap over the wool since the oil is messy, and then abtowel over that. I add an electric heating pad (it was my grandmother’s!), and then lie still and empty my mind for twenty minutes and relax. It works!

    Good luck, and keeps posted on those weekly visits—omg, I’m over 300 words! ;)

    1. When you speak of an impacted bowel, are you referring to Gastroparesis? My Doc. thinks that may be a problem for me but I’m unable to stay still long enough to take the test -90 minutes of absolute stillness.

  5. Hi, Rick. I am a 61 year old with UC, psorisis, psoriatic arthritis, chronic fatigue, hay fever, and gluten intolerance. I’ve used Canasa suppositories as directed when I have minor rectal bleeding and it stops the bleeding so I quit the Canasa until minor bleeding again, sometimes just a night or two and the bleeding stops I never experienced any side effects but I have gas often, a way of life, so I don’t know if Canasa caused it. Recently I went on Asacol in a time released capsule and after 2 weeks quit taking it because of headaches, increased gas and bloating, stomach pain, and eye problems. I’ve been off of it for 4 days and still have the bloating and gas and my eyes are still bothering me. I have a standing prescription of diuldid for pain but only take it when needed because the day after I feel even more fatigued then usual. I’m waiting for an okay to go on Cimzia, a bioligic. I’ve been on Enbrel for arthritis, it quit working after about 4 years, went on Remicade, it helped the colitis immensely but was too expensive, then Humira and it caused some weird muscular/nerve problems that were getting worse and worse. I, too, used to smoke and when I’d quit, (3 times), I’d get a bad flare of UC. I quit for good 2 1/2 years ago because of chest pains. I’ve heard the nicotine patch can help and/or the gum. Personally, I’ll never use nicotine again in any form. We have some similarities, I guess all on this site do, so wanted to send a reply to you. Good luck to you.

  6. Hi Rick,

    I’ve been using Canasa, on and off now for the last year (in addition to Asacol everyday and Entocort during flares). I’ve found that it makes my Chron’s symptoms worse if I’m using it when more than just the lower colon in hurting. If my Chron’s is active in the upper part of my colon and I use Canasa, I end up with awful gas, additional cramping, black tarry stools. I think there’s something in it that bottols things up. My Doctor an I decided it’s best to treat from the top down. Start getting the upper colon bleeding and inflamation down then, work on the rectum. It draws out the recovery process, but it’s less painful.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  7. Thanks to everyone that replied to my question about Canasa. It’s been a quite a while now that I have been using it and it finally seems to be helping, well with my Colitis. Fortunately I have a very understanding girlfriend.I haven’t had a flare in the months since I first posted (Feb.) although there were times when I thought one was coming on. I hope others will be willing to try it and have patience until it helps.Once again, thanks very much to all.

    1. Rick–couple quick things: I, too, experience the rectal itching from the Canasa, but I think it helps the proctitis. I also suggest trying a gluten/dairy free diet. I know it wounds unpleasant, but it’s doable and I truly believe you will notice an improvement in your arthritis. At 40 years old, the arthritis in my hip was getting worse, but after sticking to the gfdf diet, it is much better. Glad you are doing better. Hang in there!

  8. I buy my suppositories from Canada. They are called solafak not canasa in Canada. They are about $60-80 dollars for a box of 30. They work pretty well. Currently, I think I have upper inflamation thus I don’t think suppositories are helping…

  9. I have had UC for about 14 years. I use Canasa off and on because of the cost. I smoke 2 gigs a day to keep the bowels moving. My last flare, Canasa failed me, so did a 7 day prescrip of predisone. I did however stop bleeding in about a 1-2 weeks after I started eating about a pound of Greek yogurt every day. It has helped a lot although I still suffer from OAB, which I believe is a symptom of my UC. I am going to try a yogurt enema. Anti yeast capsules have helped a lot also. These over the counter items have done more then anything the docs have prescribed so far. Stay strong, u are not alone. I am in my early 40s.

  10. I have used Canasa pretty much since I was diagnosed. I was on Sulfasalazine at first, but got anaphalaxis from that, and put right back into the hospital.

    I haven’t really had many problems with it, but of course I am comparing it to the first medicine, which nearly killed me due to the allergic reaction.

    It really is lame having to use a suppository at night, and even lamer telling a newer boyfriend/girlfriend that you have to put something up your bum every night. I won’t lie about that!

    But I have been hospitalized too many times, and one time was close to toxic shock, so I will take the annoying little butt pill.

  11. Oh, one more thing…

    I don’t know how much NSAID’s (Advil, Motrin, aspirin) affect your flare ups, but they can really affect people with Ulcerative Colitis.

    If the Tylanol isn’t cutting if for pain, you should talk to your doctor. Opiods are a short term option, and Tramadol can work too and is less addictive. If the pain is always there, you and your doctors may want to review your meds to make sure they are still working properly.

    It may be time for a revision.

  12. I’m taking apriso, Canada, vit d&calcium, prednisone . I don’t think is help in the long run. I read over and over again health green diet is the only way, but vegetable now day come from GMO. I eat posion food, breath posion air, watch posion program on TV , click posion ads online, my dr describe poison pills for me exchange for $$$. Too late now, I guess I have to try juicing and heavy veg from now on.

  13. I was diagnosed with proctitis in July 2015. Given Canasa for my bleeding and mucus and it works, the only problem is after stopping I can only go a couple days to a week or so before symptoms come back. I have notice itching. Is this normal to see a small pool of oil when first pooping? Also the 1st end of my stool normal has white wrapped around it but doesn’t look like mucus, I assume this is Canasa? last but not least with Canasa the first end of the stool tends to be dark while the rest of the stool is light? And sometimes I get purple streaks on the stool is that blood or just the Canasa?

    Either way my doctor said since I have proctitis and internal hemorrhoids a little bleeding is fine, just still unsettling to see. Canasa is expensive but with a manufacture coupon and my insurance it comes out to $25 for a pack of 12, which still isn’t cheap.

    1. Dx Ulcerative Colitis age 14, now 36, so much experience with all facets of Inflammatory Bowel Disease including medication.

      When using Canasa suppositories, yes, oily residue is normal. The only added ingredient is “hard fat” which means as it dissolves that fat, becomes oil.
      White: said unabsorbed fat, will congeal, stool will attach to to it prior to passing. Normal.
      Maroon: A “marbling” pattern around BM is just med. distributing as it should. Normal. True pigment is what appears in solid form. Hence, if Canasa gets wet, maroon pigment shows. And manufacturing mentions avoiding staining.

      •Tip: take when bowels are most empty. Gently guide suppository so that it is at TOP of rectum. This will limit irritation to anal area and allow for more complete absorption.

      • BLACK tarry stool presents as stool itself altered in color and texture. (This should not be confused with the formentioned normal color variance of Canasa). *If you have sudden fever along with this symptom, consult your GI Dr. asap.

      Though a late response, I hope clarity will afford peace of mind to anyone navigating IBS.

      Best wishes for health & wellness!

  14. Good day,
    My 15 year old daughter was diagnosed with UC September 2016. She’s been hospitalized with CDIFF, emergency infusions and panic attacks since her diagnosis. Needless to say it’s been rough. She is receiving monthly infusions of remicade and thankfully the right side of her colon has cleared and now we are dealing with the left side needing more treatment. Her GI has prescribed Canasa. This suppository seems so hard and painful. Can you just tell me how long it takes to dissolve and if there’s any leakage after? Will there be any odors? She is extremely self conscious.

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