How to put a suppository correctly?

2024-02-25 06:30:00

Suppositories intimidate more than one person! However, these medications inserted rectally are generally much more effective than medications administered orally. They are relatively easy to administer and are absorbed more quickly by our body. How then, overcome apprehension and correctly insert a suppository to minimize discomfort? We take stock with Dr Jean du Breuillac, general practitioner and deputy secretary general of the College of General Medicine (CMG).

The benefits of suppositories

Suppositories refer to a solid pharmaceutical preparation in the shape of a small cylinder or cone, used to administer medications rectally. The choice to use them or not depends on several factors such as the nature of the medicine, the medical condition of the patients and their preferences. In any case, as Dr Du Breuillac tells us, suppositories have several advantages.

They can be absorbed more easily by the rectal mucosa and pass more quickly into the bloodstream, making it a more effective alternative to medications administered orally. Some medications may be broken down by digestive juices in the stomach. The rectal route avoids passage through the digestive tract and the liver, which preserves the active ingredients. This also allows limit gastrointestinal irritationespecially in people with sensitive stomachs. Furthermore, certain suppositories are designed to gradually release the active ingredientsensuring constant distribution over a prolonged period.Finally, suppositories are more suitable for people prone to vomiting or to people who have difficulty swallowing tablets or liquids (most often children).

Regardless, before taking a suppository, it is always better to consult a healthcare professional!

When does the suppo take effect?

Suppositories can act very quickly, usually in around thirty minutes. However, their duration of action may vary depending on the person and several factors, such as the type of active ingredients or the condition being treated.

What precautions should be taken before inserting a suppository?

Administering a suppository to your child or yourself requires certain precautions to maximize their effectiveness and minimize the risks…

Before handling the suppository, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.Trim or file your nails properly to avoid any injury. And if that makes you more comfortable, put on a pair of disposable gloves to avoid contact with the suppository.Read the instructions carefully supplied with the medicine or given by your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure the suppository is strong enough so as not to melt in your handbut warmed enough to melt slightly, making it easier to insert.Stay relaxed during the whole process : muscular tensions can complicate insertion. Remember that this is a medical procedure, essential to relieve your symptoms! Do not hesitate to place a clean cloth or towel under your or your child’s bottom to avoid any possible slippage of the medication.

“To prevent the suppository from escaping or being diluted in the stools, remember to go to the toilet before inserting a suppository », adds Dr Du Breuillac.

Instructions for use: how to use a suppository (for baby, child or adult)?

Putting a suppository seems relatively simple… In reality, certain recommendations may seem counterintuitive ! As indicated above, wash your hands properly and then pick up the suppository carefully to avoid melting it with the heat of your fingers. “Wait before inserting it and let it melt for a few seconds at the entrance to your anus to lubricate and slightly dilate it,” specifies Dr. Du Breuillac.

Insert it gently and as deeply as possible to avoid involuntary expulsion, he notes. Relax and don’t push. If you have difficulty inserting it, don’t force it! Once it is securely in place, throw away the suppo packaging and any gloves, wash your hands thoroughly again and wait until it takes effect. Also remember to clean any surface that may have come into contact with the suppository or with fecal matter.

Good to know : “ No need to tighten your buttocks! If you have pushed the suppo far enough, it is not likely to come out,” assures the general practitioner.

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In which direction should a support be inserted?

Contrary to what one might think, you should not insert the pointed side of the suppo first. “If the suppo is poorly inserted and poorly positioned, the sphincter will have an easier time expelling it,” explains Dr Du Breuillac. In other words, it is better insert your support through the flat end to ensure good propulsion in the rectum.

Moreover, no need to use lubricant : the tip of the suppository is already lubricated and will be even more so when it warms up on contact with the anus. However, if it reassures you, use a lubricant compatible with your lubricant avoiding oil-based lubricants which could compromise the effectiveness of the medicine.

What position to successfully put it in?

The most common position for administering a suppository to a baby is to lay him on his back and fold his legs in the air to free his anus and insert the suppo without hindrance. You can also lay your baby on his stomach and spread his buttocks to be able to insert the support.

Older children and adults can also lie on your side with your knees bent to your chest, or stand.

What to do if the suppository comes out?

If the suppository comes out of the rectum, you probably didn’t push it in far enough. If it is still in “good” condition, try to insert it again in the right direction (flat end first). Otherwise, use a new one. Be sure to insert it at least two centimeters into the anal canal in children and four centimeters in adults.

How to properly store your suppositories!

Be sure to store your suppositories away from the heat, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. The best option, according to Dr Jean du Breuillac? Place them in the refrigerator. So we always know where they are and there is no risk of them melting!

What are the risks if you insert the suppository incorrectly?

Using suppositories is generally considered safe. However, it can have harmful consequences if the suppo is incorrectly inserted or if it is used despite certain contraindications, particularly in cases of hemorrhoids.

Some people may be allergic to one or more components of the suppository. This is why it is important to read the ingredient list carefully and report any known allergies to your healthcare professional. Some medications contained in suppositories may also interact with other medications that you take. Furthermore, inserting a suppository can sometimes cause local discomfort or irritation.

More rarely, sudden or forced insertion of the suppository can lead to small lesions in the anus or in the first ten to fifteen centimeters of the rectum, especially if the nails are poorly cut and if the person concerned already suffers from hemorrhoids, anal fissure, or even a deformity of the rectum. On the other hand, no risk of injury to the sphincterassures Dr Du Breuillac.

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