What is a Suppository?
Suppositories are solid medications that are usually administered through the rectum or vagina. When it is inside the body, the suppository dissolves to release the medication. They are usually small, round or cone-shaped. Suppositories are formulated to remain solid at an ambient temperature, but once inserted body heat melts the outer structure so the medication is slowly released.
Suppositories may be used to treat the local area, or the medicine may travel to other parts of the body when it is absorbed through the bloodstream.
Rectal suppositories are the most commonly used type of suppository and have a rounded or bullet-shaped tip. They may be used to treat conditions like allergies, nausea, pain, seizures, constipation, haemorrhoids and mental health and come in three different sizes, infant, child and adult. It is important that rectal suppositories are usually administered soon after a bowel evacuation to ensure that they have sufficient time to break down and release the medicines and are not expelled soon after insertion.
Vaginal suppositories are usually oval-shaped and may be formulated to manage bacterial or fungal infections, vaginal dryness and birth control.
Suppositories offer another way to deliver drugs to the body when other routes, such as oral, cannot be used. They are useful if a person is having a seizure and cannot take medicines by mouth, are vomiting and cannot keep oral medicines in their stomach or are unable to swallow medication for any reason.