How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly

How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly
  1. If the suppository is soft, hold it under cool water or place it in a refrigerator (but NEVER in the freezer) for a few minutes to harden it before removing the wrapper.
How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly
  1. Remove the wrapper, if present. A curved nail scissor can be useful as the plastic is cut away, right beside the suppository.
How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly
  1. If you were told to use half of the suppository, cut it across with a clean, single-edge razor blade or a kitchen knife.
  1. Put on a finger cot or disposable glove, if desired (available at a pharmacy). A sandwich bag could be a good, practical alternative.
  1. Lubricate the suppository tip with a water-soluble lubricant such as coconut oil (our favorite), K-Y Jelly or saliva. But not with petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
    Alternately, moisten your rectal area with cool tap water.
How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly
  1. Lie on your side with your lower leg straightened out and your upper leg bent forward toward your stomach.
  1. Lift upper buttock to expose the rectal area.
How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly
  1. Insert the suppository, pointed end first, with your finger until it passes the muscular sphincter of the rectum, about 1/2 to 1 inch in infants and 1 inch in adults. (If not inserted past this sphincter, the suppository may pop out.). Actually, there are two sphincter muscles. Once these are passed, the suppository is in the rectum.
How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly
  1. Hold buttocks together for a few seconds.
  1. Remain lying down for about 5 minutes to avoid having the suppository come out. It is better to remain on your right side – this way the content of the suppository is not going further back into the colon, but rather remains in the rectum.
How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly
  1. Discard used materials and wash your hands thoroughly.
How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly

Remember

  • Follow directions carefully
  • Do not miss doses (well, it is not a big issue if you skip a night for whatever reasons. But keep it going for a better outcome)
  • Store suppositories in a cool place and avoid melting; refrigerate them if so labeled
  • Store medications out of reach of children

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