How to Insert Rectal Suppositories
Note:We encourage the use of disposable gloves and a water-soluble lubricant (ie: KY Jelly or generic brand).
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Prior to using/inserting suppositories, it is best have a bowel movement. This helps in the first of the four pharmacokinetic processes: absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination (Hollenberg & Brody, 1998). If you chose to use a latex glove to insert the suppository, place the glove on the hand you will use to insert the suppository. Gloves are very inexpensive and can be purchased at most pharmacies and grocery stores.
- Take the suppository out of the refrigerator or freezer. The suppositories cannot retain cold so they will be comfortable. By keeping the suppository in the refrigerator or freezer, the suppository will be hard and easier to insert.
NOTE: ONLY the DMSA suppository CANNOT BE REFRIGERATED OR KEPT IN FREEZER SINCE THE COLD DECREASES POTENCY.
- Open the plastic suppository shell by pulling apart the 2 tabs located at the tapered end.
- Lubricate the flat end of the suppository with a water-soluble lubricant such as K-Y Lubricating Jelly, NOT PETROLEUM JELLY (VASELINE). If you do not have this lubricant, moisten the SUPPOSITORY with cool tap water. The use of the lubricating jelly and/or cool water will hasten the separation of the base material form the nutrients, and thus enhance the absorption process.
- There are two options for inserting the suppositories. You can insert them while sitting on the toilet or as follows below in steps #7-9.
- Lift upper buttock to expose the rectal area.
- Insert the suppository flat side first (not the tapered end), pushing 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. By inserting the flat end first retention and post insertion comfort is improved. If the suppository is not inserted past this sphincter muscle, the suppository may pop out. The placing of the flat side first into the rectum triggers a reflex contraction of the rectal tissue that causes the suppository to be pulled up into the rectum where it is more comfortably retained.
- Hold buttocks together for a few seconds.
- Discard used materials and wash your hands thoroughly. If you have used a latex glove, pull the glove inside out then discard.
Note:If you have problem with retaining the suppository, a simple strategy to insure retention is to lie down for about 5-15 minutes as this will help you retain the suppository.
- Store suppositories in the refrigerator or freezer and take out and insert immediately to avoid softening of suppository and to facilitate insertion and retention.
- If the suppository softens, it will reconstitute/harden by putting the softened suppository in the refrigerator or the freezer for approximately 5-10 minutes.
- DO NOT MISS DOSES. FOLLOW YOUR SCHEDULE.
- STORE OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.