Glycerin suppositories are a hyperosmotic laxative, used for relieving mild to moderate constipation and for help in emptying the bowels. This treatment works quickly for occasional constipation.
They are for rectal use only, meaning that they are inserted directly into the back passage.
Glycerin suppositories contain the active ingredient glycerol.
Glycerol belongs to a group of medicines called hyperosmotic laxatives. A laxative is a medicine, which is used to relieve constipation and make the passage of stools easier.
Glycerol is a mild irritant and works by increasing the frequency of bowel movements by stimulating the bowel muscles to contract. These contractions encourage the stools to move along and aid in passing them out without causing you to strain.
Glycerin suppositories are inserted rectally and work by melting inside the back passage, which helps to lubricate and soften faecal matter. Medication taken rectally tends to work faster because the suppository melts inside the body and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
How long do Glycerin Suppositories take to work?
Glycerin Suppositories typically start to work within 15 minutes of inserting them.
If you do not pass a stool, do not insert another suppository.
If your symptoms persist, speak to your doctor for advice.
You only need to use one suppository at a time. Initially, it is best to try taking it first thing in the morning, as it is often most successful, as this is a time when the urge to empty your bowel may be strongest.
When taking Glycerin suppositories always read and follow all directions on the product package or use as directed by your doctor. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Generally, the following steps are advised when taking a suppository for constipation.
- Wash your hands before opening the packet.
- Remove the suppository from the protective film by tearing the strip or cutting around the suppository.
- Lubricate the suppository with water.
- Lie on your left side with the right knee slightly bent (or vice versa, depending on which side is more comfortable for you.) Using your finger, gently insert the suppository into the rectum, with the pointed end going in first. The suppository should be inserted as far as possible to ensure contact with the wall of the bowel.
- Lower your legs to a comfortable position to help you keep hold of the suppository in place. Retain the suppository in place for at least 15 to 20 minutes if possible. If you feel the suppository must come out immediately, it has not been inserted high enough.
- Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly after each bowel movement.
After taking the Glycerin suppositories, the whole suppository doesn’t need to melt to work. If however, you have an urge to go as soon as you have inserted the suppository, it is worth waiting for a little longer as you may have better results.
You may only need to use Glycerin suppositories for constipation for a few weeks to establish a regular bowel routine. However, for some people, suppositories may be needed on a longer-term basis. Your doctor will advise you on how long you need to take Glycerin suppositories according to your individual needs.