Colitis Home > Canasa

Canasa is a prescription drug that is used for the treatment of ulcerative proctitis. By stopping the production of inflammatory chemicals in the lining of the colon, the medicine can reduce rectal bleeding and decrease the number of trips to the bathroom. The medication comes in a rectal suppository that is typically used once a day. Side effects include fever, rectal pain, and acne.

What Is Canasa?

Canasa® (mesalamine) is a prescription medication that is used to treat ulcerative proctitis (a form of ulcerative colitis that affects just the rectum).
(Click Canasa Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Canasa is manufactured by Axcan Pharma, Inc.

How Does Canasa Work?

Canasa belongs to a group of medications called aminosalicylates. It is thought that the drug works by inhibiting the production of inflammatory chemicals in the lining of the colon. Canasa decreases the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, chemicals that lead to the inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis.
Because the medication is used as a rectal suppository, it is effective for ulcerative colitis that affects just the rectum (known as ulcerative proctitis).


One study evaluated Canasa for the treatment of mild to moderate ulcerative proctitis. In this study, people using the drug had less rectal bleeding and fewer trips to the bathroom, compared to those not using it. Some of these improvements were seen within the first week of Canasa use.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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