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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger HendersonReviewed on 29.04.2024 | 3 minutes read

Anusol is a medication used in the treatment of haemorrhoids (also known as piles) and works to soothe the symptoms of discomfort and itchiness. It comes in three formulations which are cream, ointment and suppositories. Anusol also comes in a formulation containing hydrocortisone, a mild steroid with anti-inflammatory properties. The hydrocortisone-containing versions are named Anusol Plus HC and Anusol Soothing Relief.

Doctor’s advice

Who is it for?

Anusol is for adults to use in the treatment of haemorrhoids (also known as piles). Haemorrhoids are enlarged blood vessels in and around the anus which look like small red or purple lumps. Symptoms of piles can be blood after you go for a poo, they can also cause pain or itching around the anus. The blood from piles will usually be bright red, and usually seen on wiping, in the pan or on top of the stool. People can also have no symptoms at all.

Anusol products should not be used by anyone under the age of 18. Like all medications, don’t take them if you have previously had an allergic reaction to the medication, if you have severe kidney or liver problems, or if you have other medications or medical conditions where you would normally discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before starting something new.

Use in pregnancy is not recommended unless directed by your doctor. If you have rectal bleeding, or blood in the stool, you should ensure you have spoken to your doctor about it before trying self-treatment options.

How does it work?

Anusol products contain active ingredients that work by reducing irritation. Find out the difference between various Anusol products. They also have antiseptic properties that help prevent the growth of bacteria around your piles. This also helps reduce itchiness and irritation by protecting the area. These ingredients are zinc oxide, balsam peru or bismuth oxide.

The hydrocortisone-containing products (Plus HC and Soothing Relief) work in a similar way as the regular Anusol. However, the added hydrocortisone has stronger anti-inflammatory effects.

How should I use Anusol?

Anusol is for topical use only. The ointment and cream are applied directly to the affected area after washing and drying. Best practice is to apply using a gauze dressing, but many people will also use a clean or gloved finger.

For treating internal haemorrhoids, screw the nozzle onto the tube before removing the nozzle cap. Insert the nozzle into the back passage and squeeze gently. Clean the nozzle after each use.

The suppositories must not be swallowed – they are designed to be inserted into the back passage after cleaning and drying the area. Insert one suppository at night, first thing in the morning and after every bowel movement, ensuring that the suppository is inserted far enough to not fall out. Always wash your hands before and after every use.

Are there any side effects?

As with any medications, some people may suffer unwanted side effects. Common effects include burning, redness, irritation, itching and pain around the back passage. If you do experience severe symptoms, you should stop using Anusol and seek advice from your doctor.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 29.04.2024
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