What is an Enema Suppository?

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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2018
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An enema suppository is a combination treatment often used to treat constipation and to empty the lower bowels. In an enema, water or another liquid is pushed into the rectum to help flush out any materials. A suppository is a form of medication that is inserted rectally. These two methods may be used together to help loosen feces and flush them out.

A medical enema or suppository can have side effects, which often include itching, bleeding from the rectum, stomach pain, or the absence of bowel movements for two to three days. Pregnant or nursing mothers are often advised not to use an enema to relieve bowel movement troubles. Some treatments are safe for children to use, at lower dosage amounts, but a medical professional or pharmacist should be consulted first.

When administering an enema, the user should lie down on his side with his right knee up and left leg straight, in a place with a toilet nearby. The user should remove the cap from enema applicator tip; some individuals may want to apply a lubricating gel to the tip to make it easier to insert into the rectum. The tip is inserted, usually about 1 inch (2.54 cm) in, and the bottle squeezed to release the liquid through the nozzle. The liquid should be held for a few minutes to allow for absorption.


The enema portion of the treatment may be followed by the suppository treatment. One tip of the suppository is usually pointed, and lubricating the suppository itself is an option to make it easier to insert. The suppository should be inserted and held in for up to 15 minutes or as directed. Some users find it uncomfortable after a few minutes, but the suppository should be held in for the directed amount of time. After the appropriate time has passed, the user should go the bathroom.

When using an enema suppository on children, a few tips can help ensure their safety and comfort. Parents are often advised to lubricate the suppository itself, and to insert the blunt end rather than the pointed end. Washing the hands before, during, and after treatment will help prevent infection. If there is excessive diarrhea, vomiting, or other side effects, the parent should contact the child's pediatrician.

After using an enema or suppository, it is often necessary to go to the bathroom several times. The user will need to keep this in mind if there are planned activities outside the home the same day the treatment is used. Many supermarkets, pharmacies, drug stores, and other shops where over-the-counter medications are sold will carry an enema suppository combination treatment, and a prescription is not usually required to treat constipation. An enema and a suppository may be packaged together, but often they are available for purchase separately.


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Post 4

@starrynight - I agree. I think the best time to use an enema suppository is in the evening, when you know you don't have anywhere else to go. That way you can worry about getting everything cleaned out, rather than looking for the nearest bathroom.

It's also best to take laxatives in the evening too, if you're going to use laxatives in combination with an enema suppository. That way, you'll have a bowel movement in the morning, usually right after you wake up. And you'll be near a bathroom!

Post 3

I agree that when using an enema suppository or a homemade enema, you should definitely stay near a toilet. Using this method to relieve constipation can have you running to the bathroom for several hours, so it's way more comfortable to just stay home.

Post 2

@JessicaLynn - That's a really good point. Using a colonic enema or a suppository shouldn't be a regular thing for most people. If you start doing it regularly, your system can become dependent on it, and then you'll end up with worse problems then just being constipated.

Changing your diet is really crucial to making sure constipation problems go away for good. Adding fiber, drinking lots of water, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables are good ways to make sure your digestive system is working properly.

Post 1

I don't think there is anything wrong with enema use for treating constipation. Sometimes, it's what you really need to keep things going. However, after you get your system moving again with an enema or suppository, definitely make some dietary changes so that you don't have to deal with the problem of constipation anymore!

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