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Glycerin suppositories

Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Dr Roger HendersonReviewed on 12.09.2023 | 1 minute read

Glycerin suppositories are a form of laxative, used to help relieve constipation. Laxatives come in different forms, there are tablets (Senna), liquids (Lactulose), sachets (Movicol), and suppositories. Suppositories are not to be swallowed and are placed up the back passage where they work locally to help relieve constipation.

Doctor’s advice

Who is it for?

It’s for short-term relief of constipation when other treatments have not worked. You should first try simple measures like incorporating fruit, vegetables, and foods high in fibre into your diet, increasing your exercise, and drinking plenty of water.

Glycerin suppositories can be used in children and adults for relief of occasional constipation. The adult dose comes as 4g, meanwhile, the children’s dose is 2g or 1g. The children’s dose can also be used in adults if preferred.

How does it work?

Glycerin suppositories work by mildly irritating the lower bowels, encouraging them to get any poo that is in there, out.

Should anyone avoid taking it?

Like all medications, don’t take them if you have previously had an allergic reaction to the medication or its components (glycerol), or if you have other medications or medical conditions where you would normally discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before starting something new. You should not use this medication if you are pregnant, unless under instruction by your doctor.

Are there any side-effects?

As with any medications, some people are bound to get some unwanted side effects. Some of the common ones include irritation and occasional abdominal cramps.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 12.09.2023
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