Hemorrhoid Suppositories

Finding Relief with Hemorrhoid Suppositories

Hemorrhoids are an incredibly common condition, affecting nearly 75% of adults at some point in their lives. These uncomfortably swollen veins in the anus and rectum can cause symptoms like itching, pain, and bleeding. While hemorrhoids sometimes go away on their own, those needing treatment may want to consider hemorrhoid suppositories as an effective option.

Hemorrhoid suppositories are small medicated bullets that are inserted into the anus to bring relief right where you need it. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what exactly hemorrhoid suppositories are, how they work, types and ingredients, benefits over other treatments, potential side effects and precautions, and tips on proper use. Read on to learn everything you need to know about harnessing the healing power of hemorrhoid suppositories!

What Reason for Hemorrhoids?

Here are some of the main reasons that can cause hemorrhoids:

  • Constipation – Straining during bowel movements puts increased pressure on the veins in the anus and rectum. Chronic constipation is a major risk factor.
  • Pregnancy – Hormonal changes and increased pressure from the uterus on the veins can cause hemorrhoids. They are especially common in late pregnancy and after giving birth.
  • Obesity – Excess body weight increases pressure in the pelvis and around the anus. This can enlarge hemorrhoids.
  • Sitting for long periods – Sitting for long stretches of time can increase pressure on the veins. Jobs that require prolonged sitting put people at higher risk.
  • Heavy lifting – Lifting heavy objects can cause straining that increases pressure in the hemorrhoid veins.
  • Chronic diarrhea – Passing frequent, watery stools can irritate hemorrhoids and make them more inflamed.
  • Low-fiber diet – A low-fiber diet can lead to constipation and straining, which irritates hemorrhoids. Fiber helps soften stool.
  • Genetics – Some people may inherit a tendency to develop hemorrhoids through effects on vein walls or pressure.
  • Age – Hemorrhoids become more common as people age, as tissues in the anus and rectum may weaken.

Hemorrhoids are caused by a combination of factors that place extra pressure on the blood vessels in and around the anus. Making lifestyle changes to reduce straining can help prevent hemorrhoids.

What Are Hemorrhoid Suppositories?

Hemorrhoid suppositories are miniature medication delivery systems designed to be inserted into the anus to treat hemorrhoids. They are typically cone or bullet-shaped to be administered rectally. The ingredients in hemorrhoid suppositories work to provide relief right at the source of discomfort.

Once inserted, the natural ingredients in hemorrhoid suppositories melt inside the anus and lower rectum to:

  • Soothe inflammation, swelling, and irritation
  • Relieve painful hemorrhoid symptoms
  • Promote healing of fissures or tears
  • Lubricate and soften stool for easier bowel movements
  • Constrict blood vessels to reduce swelling

The two main types of hemorrhoid suppositories are those used to treat external hemorrhoids that occur under the skin around the anus, and internal hemorrhoids that develop in the lining of the lower rectum. Suppositories deliver medication right where hemorrhoid relief is needed most.

hemorrhoid suppositories
hemorrhoid suppositories

How Do Hemorrhoidal Suppositories Work?

The medicated ingredients in hemorrhoid suppositories act in different ways to provide relief:

  • Anti-inflammatories reduce swelling, irritation, and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids
  • Vasoconstrictors make blood vessels tighter to decrease swelling
  • Anesthetics numb pain and itching in the anus and rectum
  • Protectants form a barrier between irritated hemorrhoid tissue and stool or moisture
  • Astringents cause shrinkage of swollen hemorrhoid tissue

Additional lubricating and moisturizing ingredients like cocoa butter allow suppositories to melt slowly and provide moisture to soften hard stools. The cocoa butter also coats the rectum and anus to protect against irritation when wiping.

Once inserted into the anus, hemorrhoid suppository ingredients begin melting within 15-30 minutes. The medication is absorbed into the rectal tissue and anal area to provide directed symptom relief where needed. Effects typically last from a few hours up to a full day.

Hemorrhoid suppositories allow you to target treatment right at the source for rapid relief with minimal systemic side effects compared to oral medications. Regular use also gradually reduces hemorrhoid symptoms over the long term by improving the integrity of veins and tissue.

Type Of Suppository

Here is a table summarizing the main types of suppositories:

Type Ingredients Uses Available
Glycerin Glycerin Constipation relief Over-the-counter
Medicated Hydrocortisone, antifungals, pain relievers, etc. Hemorrhoids, yeast infections, pain Prescription
Laxative Bisacodyl, sodium phosphate Constipation/bowel cleansing Over-the-counter
Progesterone Progesterone Pregnancy support Prescription
  • Glycerin and laxative suppositories treat constipation.
  • Medicated suppositories contain active ingredients to treat conditions like hemorrhoids, yeast infections, and pain/fever.
  • Progesterone suppositories provide progesterone hormone support during pregnancy.
  • Glycerin, laxatives, and some medicated suppositories are available over the counter. Others require a prescription from a doctor.
  • All suppositories are designed for rectal insertion where the ingredients can be absorbed into the body.

Types of Hemorrhoid Suppositories

There are a few main types of medicated hemorrhoid suppositories:

  • Steroid Suppositories: Contain corticosteroid anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and irritation. Best for severe external hemorrhoids.
  • Local Anesthetic Suppositories: Numb pain and itching using lidocaine or similar anesthetic agents. Useful for very painful hemorrhoids.
  • Vasoconstrictor Suppositories: Constrict blood vessels using ingredients like epinephrine to reduce swelling. Helpful for internal hemorrhoids.
  • Protectant and Lubricant Suppositories: Form protective barriers and lubricate using mineral oil, shark liver oil, and cocoa butter. Provide relief for bowel movements.
  • Witch Hazel or Astringent Suppositories: Made with witch hazel, zinc oxide, or herbal astringents to promote the shrinking of swollen hemorrhoid tissue.
  • Combination Suppositories: Contain a blend of medicated ingredients tailored for complete hemorrhoid symptom relief. Most comprehensive option.

Always check the specific active ingredients on a hemorrhoid suppository package to determine the type and customize treatment. Talk to your doctor about which formula is right for your particular hemorrhoids.

Benefits of Using Hemorrhoidal Suppositories

Compared to other hemorrhoid treatments like ointments, creams, pills, or surgery, using medicated hemorrhoid suppositories has many notable benefits:

  • Deliver medication directly to the source for rapid, targeted relief
  • Require less total medication than oral options, reducing systemic side effects
  • Start relieving pain, itching, and swelling within minutes as ingredients melt
  • Shrink hemorrhoid tissue and strengthen vein walls for lasting improvement
  • Protect and soothe irritated rectal tissue during bowel movements
  • Promote healing of painful hemorrhoid fissures or tears
  • Relieve constipation by lubricating hard stools and softening them as they pass
  • Avoid the mess and inconvenience of hemorrhoid creams and ointments
  • Easy to administer yourself discreetly in the comfort of your own home
  • Typically affordable and available without a prescription

By allowing you to get relief exactly where you need it when hemorrhoid symptoms flare up, suppositories are an excellent treatment option with many perks over conventional methods.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

When used as directed, hemorrhoid suppositories are generally very safe and well tolerated. However, some potential side effects and precautions include:

  • May cause a mild burning or stinging sensation at first when inserting the suppository
  • Avoid using suppositories for longer than 1 week unless directed by your doctor, as longer use can lead to dependence
  • Extended use of steroid suppositories may result in thin skin, irritation, or stretching of the anus
  • Vasoconstrictor suppositories should not be used for more than 7 days due to the risk of increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • Anesthetic suppositories may interfere with the natural urge to have a bowel movement
  • Seek medical advice before using if pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any anal injuries or conditions
  • Rectal itching, rash, excessive dryness, or leakage are signs of discontinuing use
  • Not recommended for children under 12 years old

Closely following dosage guidelines and heeding any warning labels on hemorrhoid suppository packaging reduces the risk of complications. Speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you have any concerns.


How to Use Hemorrhoid Suppositories

Using hemorrhoid suppositories effectively is simple by following a few tips:

  • Carefully wash hands and clean the anal area before inserting the suppository
  • Remove the foil wrapper and moisten the suppository slightly with water if it feels too dry or starts to crumble
  • Lie on your side with your lower leg straightened and upper leg bent forward toward your stomach
  • Lift the upper buttock to expose the anal opening and gently insert the suppository point-end first
  • Push the suppository into the rectum about 1/2 to 1 inch using your finger so it passes the anal sphincter and into the lower rectum
  • Remain lying down for about 15-20 minutes to allow the suppository to fully melt and be absorbed
  • Try to avoid bowel movements or exercise for at least an hour after inserting the suppository
  • Use hemorrhoid suppositories after each bowel movement for the best relief
  • Discontinue use after 6-7 days unless a doctor advises a longer duration
  • Contact your doctor if symptoms worsen or do not improve within 7 days of starting treatment

Following the package directions closely and using the proper insertion technique ensures hemorrhoid suppositories are most effective. Combining suppositories with other treatments like hydration, fiber, warm baths, and gentle exercise can provide more comprehensive hemorrhoid relief.

using process
using process

Safety And Efficacy Of Hemorrhoid Suppository

Here is a table comparing the safety and efficacy of some common hemorrhoid suppository ingredients:

Ingredient Safety Efficacy
Hydrocortisone Safe for short-term use; potential side effects include skin thinning with prolonged use Highly effective at reducing inflammation and shrinking hemorrhoids
Witch hazel Generally safe; can cause minor skin irritation in some Helpful for symptom relief due to astringent properties
Phenylephrine Generally safe in recommended doses; potential side effects include elevated blood pressure and heartbeat Modestly effective at constricting blood vessels to reduce swelling
Shark liver oil Safe when used as directed; uncommon allergic reactions possible Limited evidence on efficacy for hemorrhoids
Aloe vera Considered safe; minimal side effects May provide soothing symptom relief but minimal impact on the hemorrhoids themselves
Zinc oxide Low risk; generally well tolerated Can help protect skin integrity but has minimal anti-inflammatory effect
  • Hydrocortisone is one of the most effective ingredients but requires short-term use only.
  • Witch hazel and aloe vera help relieve symptoms like pain and itching.
  • There is limited evidence for shark liver oil and zinc oxide reducing hemorrhoids themselves.
  • Overall safety profiles are good for most ingredients with proper use.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do hemorrhoid suppositories take to work?

Most hemorrhoid suppositories provide some relief within 5-30 minutes as the ingredients melt and are absorbed. Maximal relief takes up to 1-2 hours. Effects last between 3-12 hours.

How often can you use hemorrhoid suppositories?

Depending on the ingredients, hemorrhoid suppositories can typically be used every 8-12 hours. It is best to use them after each bowel movement. Most suppositories should not be used for longer than 6-7 consecutive days.

Where can I buy hemorrhoid suppositories?

Hemorrhoid suppositories can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. They are available at most pharmacies, drug stores, and supermarkets. Many online retailers also carry hemorrhoid suppositories.

How do you insert hemorrhoid suppositories?

Lie on your side, lift the upper butt cheek, and gently push the suppository into the anal canal or lower rectum about 1/2 to 1 inch using your finger. Ensure it passes fully through the anal sphincter. Try not to insert at too steep an angle.

Can hemorrhoid suppositories make things worse?

When used as directed, hemorrhoid suppositories rarely make symptoms worse. Using them for too long can lead to dependence or thinning of rectal tissues. Discontinue use if any worsening symptoms develop.

Are hemorrhoid suppositories safe while pregnant?

Some hemorrhoid suppository ingredients are considered safe during pregnancy, but always consult your OB-GYN before using while pregnant or breastfeeding to ensure safety.

Last Words

If you are struggling with painful, uncomfortable hemorrhoid symptoms, hemorrhoid suppositories could offer the relief you’ve been seeking. These helpful medicated bullets deliver active ingredients right where you need them most to decrease swelling, numb pain, heal tears, and restore healthy veins.

Hemorrhoid suppositories provide fast-acting, targeted relief without messy creams or side effects of oral medications. Just be sure to heed any dosage guidelines and contraindications when incorporating hemorrhoid suppositories into your treatment regimen. With the right care, you’ll be padding down the road to recovery in no time!


My name is Selina, a medical specialist blogger helping people access treatment for 5+ years. Although blogging awhile, only recently deeply engaged. This past year my most productive, providing hospital reviews and info on symptoms, diagnoses and diseases. Also offer guidelines to help readers navigate healthcare. Goal to continue increased content pace to assist many. Aim to facilitate treatment and empower advocacy through writing.

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