Constipation is a common symptom, manifested in people of all age groups at some point or the other in their life. Although most people get relief with constipation home remedies, some require therapeutic medicines, which are taken orally or given externally. Suppositories for constipation are delivered via the rectum. If one examines the shape of suppositories, their typical shape would be noticed. Usually, they are elongated, with one end blunt and the other end tapering gradually (like the shape of a torpedo).
Who Should Use Suppositories for Constipation?
Medicine in the form of rectal suppository is recommended for the affected people who have a tendency to vomit after having oral medications. For them, tablets or pills taken through oral route are expelled out, before they get absorbed in the body system. Hence, suppositories are often recommended for ease in administration and optimal efficiency.
For example, the doctors usually prescribe glycerin suppositories for infants and bisacodyl suppositories for constipation during pregnancy. Also, rectal suppositories are excellent for children and other people who are not comfortable taking oral tablets at the moment.
How to Use It
The best ones for constipation contain either glycerin or bisacodyl (brand name Dulcolax, Correctol, and Alophen). Both these ingredients are known as stimulant laxatives, which work by contracting the intestinal walls. As a consequence of peristaltic movements, the colon, and rectum parts are triggered for defecation. Rectal suppositories formulated with bisacodyl are available in 10 mg concentration for adults and 5 mg concentration for children. Likewise, glycerin suppositories are sold in different dosages.
The most common mistake observed is inserting them with the wrong side. Considering the shape, most people end up delivering the pointed end first, which is not correct. The ideal way for using any type of rectal suppository is to insert the blunt end first, while lying on the left side and keeping the left knee in a slightly bending position. Wearing a clean hand glove during insertion of rectal suppository is suggested by doctors to maintain personal hygiene.
Comparison studies have shown that delivering a suppository with the blunt end travels longer, thus increasing the efficiency of the laxatives. The distance gained by the rectal suppositories and effectiveness are related to the anatomical structure of rectum and muscular movements of the bowel. While using, they are inserted about an inch deep in the rectum. Experiencing discomfort at the time of delivering the medicine plug is quite normal. Once inside the rectum, it melts slowly, thus releasing the medicine.
After using a rectal suppository, an individual can expect bowel movement within 15-60 minutes. The time period for experiencing the medicinal effect may vary, based on the type of the medicine, its concentration, and the severity of the affected person's condition. However, one thing common to all rectal suppositories is that they are used for getting instant relief from constipation related discomfort symptoms.
About the considerations for delivering suppositories for constipation, they are exclusively for rectal use; oral administration is strictly not recommended. As with any type of laxatives, suppositories are not safe for regular usage. One should avoid using them for consecutive five days. Indulging in long-term treatment with rectal suppositories may cause diarrhea and associated medical conditions, including electrolyte imbalance in the body, reduced blood potassium levels (hypokalemia), and dehydration.
When taken correctly, it is safe and free of laxatives side effects. For pregnant and breastfeeding women, rectal suppositories should be advocated only under the supervision of a trusted physician. Till date, no obvious adverse effects are reported while using suppositories for constipation in pregnant women. However, it is always better to be on the safer side, both for the mother and the baby. At any point of time, one should follow their usage directions, as suggested by the doctor.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.