How Do I Choose the Best Suppositories for Constipation?

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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 09 February 2020
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Choosing the best suppositories for constipation depends upon the recommendation of the physician and personal preference. A suppository is inserted into the rectum to relieve constipation and sometimes soften the stool. Some suppositories can be acquired over the counter, where others are available by prescription only. Although results are typically more subtle than using an enema, suppositories for constipation can cause diarrhea and cramping.

Pediatricians frequently recommend glycerin suppositories for babies when they are constipated, which usually brings about quick relief. Suppositories for adults, however, are generally only recommended after other remedies have proven ineffective. Constipation can cause abdominal cramping, straining when having a bowel movement, and even rectal bleeding. In addition, constipation can cause loss of appetite, bloating, and even nausea. Drinking plenty of fluids, eating a diet high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables and getting enough exercise can help relieve constipation.

Taking fiber supplements or drinking high-fiber drinks can also help reduce the incidence of constipation. They can, however, result in excess gas and stomach upset. When suppositories are being considered for use, the individual needs to make sure he is close to a restroom because the results can be unpredictable. A bowel movement can occur within seconds, or it may take longer. In addition, this remedy may not work at all to relieve constipation.


Doctors often recommend eating prunes or drinking prune juice for treating constipation. Prunes and prune juice can help facilitate a bowel movement gently and usually without side effects. When constipation becomes severe, the health care provider needs to evaluate the condition and prescribe a treatment plan. Persistent constipation can be a sign of a serious medical condition and diagnostic testing may be warranted. Oral laxatives may be prescribed to help reduce symptoms and the patient may even be referred to a registered nutritionist who can provide the patient with tips on how to eat to prevent constipation.

Suppositories for constipation should only be used on a temporary basis, because, if abused, the body may become dependent upon them. If this occurs, the individual may not be able to have a bowel movement on his own, without the use of a suppository. If constipation is chronic and accompanied by bloating, abdominal pain, and cramping, excessive gas and rectal bleeding, the health care provider needs to be consulted as soon as possible. Although these symptoms can be related to minor medical conditions, they can also signal serious conditions of the gastrointestinal tract or reproductive organs.


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Post 3

@fify-- There are also medicated glycerin suppositories out there and even suppositories with herbal ingredients. If the local pharmacy doesn't carry them, they can be found online.

Like the article said, glycerin suppositories don't work for everyone. I've personally had better results with medicated suppositories. I think they work better. But of course, they are my last resort. I try not to use them unless I absolutely have to. I actually enjoy the taste of prunes and won't mind snacking on them. A handful of prunes and a glass of warm water afterward usually does the trick.

Post 2

@fify-- Are you using them correctly? It's best to insert them lying down on the side and then to stay in that position for a minimum of fifteen minutes. The glycerin melts from the heat of the body and softens stool. It requires some time to work.

It's actually normal to feel spasms and the urgency to go right away. But the glycerin may not actually have worked just yet. So you should ignore the spasms that occur in the first few minutes and try to wait at least fifteen minutes before going to the bathroom.

Post 1

Glycerin suppositories do nothing for me unfortunately. I know that many people use them and find them effective. They have never worked for me however. They cause pain and spasms and that's about it.

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