Pentasa Enemas

Pentasa enemas treat ulcerative colitis in the last portion of the large bowel.

Pentasa enemas are a prescription medicine that treats ulcerative colitis in the last portion of the large bowel (colon), known as distal ulcerative colitis (left sided colitis and /or proctosigmoiditis).

Pentasa enemas contain a sustained release suspension of mesalazine (also known as 5-aminosalicylic acid or 5-ASA) that works by coming into direct contact with the inflamed tissue in the large bowel and calming down the inflamation.

To come in direct contact with inflamed tissue in the large bowel Pentasa enamas are administered into the rectum, usually at bedtime.

By lying on the left side of the body, the liquid medicine is able to travel up the left side of the large bowel and calm down the inflamation.19


Pentasa microgranules travel through the small bowel and large bowel to the rectum.
Pentasa tablets deliver mesalazine directly to the inflamed tissue of the small and large bowel, right where it is needed to calm down inflammation. 

How to use Pentasa enemas

How to use enemasEnemas, that are inserted into the rectum, are a common way of delivering many medicines, including Pentasa.

Pentasa enemas are normally used at bedtime. Prior to administering the enema visit the toilet to empty the bowels. The enema will work better if the bowel has been emptied.

Administer the enema as follows:

  1. Remove outer foil from the enema. 
  2. If the enema is too cold it can be warmed by submerging in lukewarm water for a few minutes.
  3. Shake the enema immediately before using to mix the contents.
  4. To break the seal, twist the nozzle one full turn (360°) as shown in the diagram.
  5. If necessary rub the tip with a water soluble lubricating jelly.
  6. Put your hand in one of the plastic disposal bags provided and hold the enema bottle.
  7. Lie with your left leg out straight and right leg bent forward for balance as shown in the diagram.
  8. Carefully insert the tip of the enema into the rectum and squeeze the bottle with steady hand pressure to empty its contents. The bottle content should be emptied within a maximum of 30 - 40 seconds.
  9. Once the bottle is empty withdraw the tip.
  10. Roll the plastic disposal bag over the empty bottle and discard the bottle into a bin next to your bed.
  11. The enema should be retained in the bowel. Remain relaxed in this position for 5 to 10 minutes or until any urge to pass the enema has disappeared. If possible, remain in bed until the next morning.


For first time users of enemas, it may feel a little strange but after a few days use, and with improvement in symptoms, you should feel confident and comfortable with it.

Prepare the items you need next to your bed including  a rubbish bin. Until you get used to the administration technique and/or until your symptoms improve and you can retain the enema well,  lie on a protective covering over your bedclothes as a precaution from any mishaps.

When your disease is active and at its worst it may be difficult to retain the full enema. Retention is a matter everyone faces with enemas. Even if you retain a small portion of the enema it is a step in the right direction. Your doctor may recommend that any enema remaining in the bottle may be inserted in two or three portions during the course of the day by repeating the above steps. The partially used enema should be stored in the foil bag to protect it from light. Remember to discard the enema at the end of the day, even if there is some remaining in the bottle.

Always use your medicines as prescribed and seek advice from your doctor, IBD nurse or pharmacist if you need it so you can feel comfortable and confident using Pentasa enemas.

FAQ about Pentasa enemas

How long will it take to get a beneficial effect from the Pentasa enema?

Most people using the enema with obtain benefit from their treatment after 2-4 weeks of use9.

My disease is very active and I am having trouble retaining the full enema. What should I do?

When ulcerative colitis is at its most active retention of the full enema may be difficult to achieve. In this case, retaining a portion of the enema is a step in the right direction. Your doctor may suggest inserting a portion 2-3 times a day will have a beneficial effect until such time as you can retain the full enema. If you do this, store the unused portion of the enema in the foil pack to avoid exposure to light and remember to discard the enema at the end of the day, even if there is some remaining in the bottle.

Can I use Pentasa enema as a maintenance treatment?

Yes, Pentasa enemas can be used to maintain remission. Discuss an appropriate dosing regimen with your doctor.

I have not heard of administering medicine rectally before. Is this common?

Administering medicine into the rectum is common. Examples of other medicines that can be administered as suppositories and/or enemas into the rectum are pain relief, other anti-inflammatory (steroid), and antibiotic medicines.

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Pentasa Tablets 500mg, Pentasa Enema 1g/100 ml, Pentasa Suppository 1g, Pentasa Granules (Sachets) 1g.

The information provided in this website is not intended to replace advice given by your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your health and or treatments please consult a doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. Consult your doctor to see if this medicine is right for you.

Important Consumer Information

Do not use Pentasa if you have an allergy to any medicine containing mesalazine or aspirin-like medicines, or to any of Pentasa's ingredients. Do not use Pentasa if you have a severe kidney or liver problem. Pentasa should be used with caution during pregnancy and lactation.Side effects:All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious but most of the time they are not. Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.Common side effects include: headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, rash. For enemas and suppositories also any pain or itching of the anus or rectum, rectal discomfort and urge to have a bowel movement.Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of these side effects and they worry you. The following list includes serious side effects which may need medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following: bruising easily, unusual bleeding (e.g. nosebleeds), or frequent signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat and mouth ulcers; muscle aches and pains; painful joints; severe upper stomach pain; chest pain, sometimes spreading to the neck and shoulders, or with fever; yellowing of the skin/eyes, increased sensitivity of your skin to sun and ultraviolet light; worsening of your condition. The following list includes very serious side effects that may need urgent medical attention. These side effects are very rare. If you notice any of the following, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital: Sudden signs of allergic reactions such as rash, shortness of breath, swelling of limbs, face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty swallowing or breathing. Severe stomach cramps and/or pain, bloody diarrhoea, fever and severe headache. Rash with severe blisters and bleeding of the eyes, mouth, lips, nose and genitals. This website does not contain all the consumer medicines information. For full consumer medicines information, please refer to www.medsafe.govt.nz or your pharmacist. Always read the label. Use strictly as directed. If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your doctor, pharmacist or health professional.

Pentasa Tablets 500mg, Suppositories 1g, Enemas 1g/100 ml,and Granules (Sachets) 1g are funded prescription medicines. Doctor's charges will apply.