Colitis Home > Rowasa Side Effects

Cramps, gas, and a fever are a few of the side effects commonly reported with Rowasa. Side effects of this medicine that are less common (occurring in less than 2 percent of people) can include hair loss, rectal pain, and hemorrhoids. In most cases, Rowasa side effects are minor and don't require medical attention. However, among the more serious side effects of this medicine are worsening of ulcerative colitis symptoms, decreased urination, and any signs of pancreatitis.

An Introduction to Rowasa Side Effects

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with Rowasa® (mesalamine); however, not everyone who uses the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate Rowasa well. When side effects do occur, in most cases they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Rowasa. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Rowasa side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects With Rowasa

Rowasa has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and are then compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, some of the most common Rowasa side effects included:
  • Cramps or abdominal pain (or stomach pain) -- in up to 8.1 percent of people
  • Gas -- up to 6.13 percent
  • The flu (influenza) -- up to 5.28 percent
  • A fever -- up to 3.19 percent
  • Leg pain or joint pain -- up to 2.09 percent.

Rowasa Side Effects to Report

There are a number of side effects with Rowasa that you should report to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Worsening of ulcerative colitis symptoms
  • Decreased urination
  • Signs of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), including a fever, nausea or vomiting, and swelling or tenderness of the abdomen
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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