Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.If the suppository is soft, hold it under cool water or place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden it before removing the wrapper.Remove the wrapper, if present.If you were told to use half of the suppository, cut it lengthwise with a clean, sharp blade.Put on a finger cot or disposable glove, if desired (available at a pharmacy).Lubricate the suppository tip with a water-soluble lubricant such as K-Y Jelly, not petroleum jelly (Vaseline). If you do not have this lubricant, moisten your rectal area with cool tap water.Lie on your side with your lower leg straightened out and your upper leg bent forward toward your stomach.Lift upper buttock to expose the rectal area.Insert the suppository, pointed end first, with your finger until it passes the muscular sphincter of the rectum, about 1/2 to 1 inch (1.25 to 2.5 centimeters) in infants and 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in adults. If not inserted past this sphincter, the suppository may pop out.Hold buttocks together for a few seconds.Remain lying down for about 15 minutes to avoid having the suppository come out.Try to avoid having a bowel movement for about an hour so that the medication in the suppository can be absorbed into the body.Discard used materials and wash your hands thoroughly.
Adapted, with permission, from the Michigan Pharmacists Association'sPatient Education Program.
Store suppositories in a cool place and avoid melting; refrigerate them if so labeled
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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