- Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult (rectal)
- What is Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal?
- Important Information
- Before taking this medicine
- What happens if I miss a dose?
- What happens if I overdose?
- What should I avoid while using Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal?
- Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal side effects
- What other drugs will affect Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal?
- Further information
- More about Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult (glycerin)
- What Is Vegetable Glycerin? Uses, Benefits and Side Effects
- Summit Medical Group Web Site
- About glycerol suppositories
- Before using glycerol suppositories
- How to use glycerol suppositories
- Getting the most from your treatment
- Can glycerol suppositories cause problems?
- How to store glycerol suppositories
- Important information about all medicines
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Overuse of a laxative may cause damage to the nerves, muscles, or tissues in your intestines.
Do not take a rectal suppository by mouth. It is for use only in your rectum.
Wash your hands before and after using a rectal enema or suppository.
This medicine comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
To use the suppository:
- Remove the wrapper before inserting the suppository. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt in your hands.
- Use your finger or the applicator provided to insert the suppository.
- Lie on your left side with your lower leg straight and your upper leg bent. Gently insert the suppository pointed tip first into your rectum, about 1/2 inch for a child or 1 inch for an adult.
- For best results, stay lying down for a few minutes. The suppository will melt quickly and you should feel little or no discomfort while holding it in.
To use the enema:
- Remove the protective shield before inserting the enema tip.
- Lie on your left side with your lower leg straight and your upper leg bent. If giving this medicine to a child, have the child kneel on the floor and then lower the chest forward until the side of the child’s face is resting on the floor.
- Gently insert the tip of the applicator or bulb syringe into the rectum, pointing it toward your navel (belly button). Do not force the applicator into the rectum or injury could result.
- Slowly squeeze the bottle or bulb until it is nearly empty.
For best results after using glycerin rectal, stay lying down until you feel the urge to have a bowel movement. This medicine should produce a bowel movement within 15 to 60 minutes after using the suppository.
Do not use glycerin rectal more than once in a 24-hour period.
Call your doctor if this medication does not cause you to have a bowel movement within 1 hour after use.
Store the rectal enema at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Store the rectal suppositories at cool room temperature away from moisture and heat. Some suppositories can be refrigerated. Check your medicine label to be sure how to store your medicine.
An overdose of glycerin rectal is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
Since this medicine is usually given only once as needed, you will not be on a dosing schedule. Do not use glycerin rectal more than once in a 24-hour period.
Copyright 1996-2020 Cerner Multum, Inc.
Latest Update: 2/19/2019, Version: 1.04
Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult (rectal)
Generic Name: glycerin (rectal) (GLISS er in)
Brand Name: Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult, Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Pediatric, Pedia-Lax Liquid, Sani-Supp
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Sep 13, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum
- Side Effects
What is Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal?
Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal is used as a laxative. It works by causing the intestines to hold more water, which softens the stool.
Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal is used to treat occasional constipation or to cleanse the bowel before a rectal exam or other intestinal procedure.
Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Fleet Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult Suppositories Adult if you are allergic to Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult.
To make sure Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
a change in bowel habits that has lasted for 2 weeks or longer;
ulcerative colitis, toxic megacolon; or
if you have used another laxative for longer than 1 week.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor’s advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether glycerin rectal passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor’s advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
When using this medication in any child, use only the forms that are specially made for children. Certain brands of Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal should not be used in children.
Do not use Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal in a child younger than 2 years old without the advice of a doctor.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since Fleet Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult Suppositories Adult is usually given only once as needed, you will not be on a dosing schedule. Do not use Fleet Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult Suppositories Adult rectal more than once in a 24-hour period.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal?
Avoid using other laxatives in combination with Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal unless your doctor has told you to.
Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain or cramping;
rectal bleeding; or
no bowel movement within 1 hour after use.
Common side effects may include:
nausea or stomach discomfort; or
rectal pain or burning.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult rectal?
Other drugs may interact with glycerin rectal, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04.
More about Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult (glycerin)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 5 Reviews
- Drug class: laxatives
Other brands: Pedia-Lax Liquid Glycerin Suppositories, Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Pediatric, Sani-Supp
- Allergenic Extract, Coca Glycerine (FDA)
Related treatment guides
Review by Becky
When I used to get constipated I’d always rely on powder fiber supplements (Fibersure in particular) to help me out. They weren’t exactly a miracle solution but they were usually reasonably effective. It was only one day I was in the chemist and I noticed glycerin suppositories. I had never actually heard of such a thing before, but I thought I might as well give it a go. That was on my lunch break at work.
As soon as I got back to work I decided to give it a try. No time like the present, huh? Now you must understand that I had no idea how it would take action. There was no leaflet inside the box, only very vague instructions and stuff on the back of the box, with no indication of time-scales or anything as useful as that. I suppose I was sort of expecting the effect to be similar to that of the fiber supplements I was used to taking; that is to say far from instant. How wrong I was.
Within seconds of inserting it I had this God-awful feeling pass over me. I began sweating profusely, I felt sick and faint, I could no longer even hold myself up. It really was as though life was being physically drained from me. I sat down on the lavatory and I can distinctly remember thinking about how much I’d pay to go back in time a couple of minutes and not do it.
If I hadn’t known better I’d have thought I was having a stroke. I cannot stress how much pain and trauma I felt. I could not go on with this. I pushed it out and felt pretty much OK again moments later. No bowel movement occurred, but right then it really was the least of my worries. I was just grateful not to have passed out.
Needless to say, I left the things well alone for a long time. Well, several months anyway. It was only today that I decided it might be worth having another go. This time I was at home, and of course I knew what to expect. Now don’t get me wrong here, I was pretty terrified once again, but I just thought that I had to be a man about it and show my colon who was boss once and for all. So I went for it and again, almost immediately, started experiencing a similar feeling. But I could not back down so easily, at least this time I was semi-prepared.
I sat down again and everything came flooding back. It was the height of summer and I was sweating like crazy. It was something else entirely. After a few minutes of intense suffering the suppository had done its job and I felt utmost relief. I really couldn’t believe how effective it had proved. The dizziness, nausea and heat went away too. It was incredible. It was definitely worthwhile, despite the hideous side-effects of the procedure.
I’d be interested to know if other people experience this when using suppositories. I mean, of course a measure like this is never going to be the most pleasant form of medication, but the main thing is that it works: quickly and powerfully. I would use a suppository again, but from now on I am going to take better care of my diet so as not to end up in the situation where I need one!
Review by Loretta
About nine years ago I had bowel surgery to remove a blockage and as a result I now have IBS. I have a lot of scar tissue throughout my intestines because of the blockage surgery. I also have interstitial cystitis, a painful bladder disorder, as well. These both being the case I already suffer from a lot of abdominal pain.
Many years ago I tried Dulcolax suppositories and I have never used them again, but I did not remember why, that is until right this very moment. The pain I normally deal with is pretty bad and now due to this really horrible product I am in so much pain that I wish I was dead so I didn’t have to deal with it. I feel like my bowels are being ripped out of me with a dull rusty spoon on the outside and a set of razor blades on the inside.
Review by Melissa
After suffering from the effects of other medications I have used I found CVS glycerin suppositories located next to the enemas I hate so much. These are wonderful at relieving the symptoms of being bloated and constipated. I love these and will continue to use them.
Review by Jasmine
Glycerin suppositories have saved me so many times. I have suffered for years, especially after having my children, and no matter how I changed my diet or how much fiber or prunes I tried to consume it never really worked, I would go three or four days without a bowel movement, feeling stiff, my stomach bloated and with painful gas. I suffered from bleeding hemorrhoids and all!
My baby was constipated by lactose as a baby and the doctor advised me to try a child-sized suppository. I tried it one day and wow, what a difference. The laxatives would give me cramps and I’d never know when the movements would occur so I’d be stuck home all day. The suppository is completely different and within minutes I’m relieved. It is great for me, especially if I know I have to go to work as I can get relief and go to work happy! No side effects for me so far.
Review by Muriel
I have just been diagnosed with IBS. Apparently, I have experienced this for months before visiting the doctor. I used OTC laxatives until one day I was knotted over with abdominal cramping and pain. At this point I saw my doctor and she suggested suppositories – they work wonderfully and I get instant relief within 30 to 40 minutes. Hope someone will find this helpful.
Review by Vivian
Since I was a child I suffered from constipation, which led to hemorrhoids and rectal bleeding. Now, whenever I am constipated, instead of sitting for long periods suffering and waiting, I use a glycerin suppository, and within minutes I am eliminating painlessly and fully. My medicine cabinet is always stocked with them and I have not found any adverse effects to using them; actually, quite the opposite!
Do you suffer from IBS? Have you tried glycerin suppositories? Please contact Sophie to send in your review.
What Is Vegetable Glycerin? Uses, Benefits and Side Effects
Vegetable glycerin is touted as a product with numerous health benefits.
However, only a few benefits are supported by science — and the related studies tend to be few and small. Keep in mind that more studies are needed on its health benefits.
The following benefits have the most research behind them.
May Moisturize Skin
Vegetable glycerin is a popular skincare treatment because of its moisturizing power.
Research shows that applying glycerin to your skin may gradually improve its smoothness and suppleness. In fact, using creams containing glycerin may increase skin hydration in as few as 10 days (1, 2).
In one study, a cream made from glycerin was more effective than those made from silicone oil or hyaluronic acid at hydrating skin and preventing loss of moisture (3).
In another study, adding glycerin to a warm water bath was more effective at improving skin moisture levels and protecting against skin irritation than a warm water bath alone (4).
May Promote Skin Health
Vegetable glycerin may lead to better skin health by helping soothe skin irritation, protect against infection and promote wound healing.
Studies show that applying glycerin-containing products may protect your skin against irritants and microbes, as well as soothe inflamed or wounded skin (5, 6).
Moreover, vegetable glycerin may act as a barrier to safeguard your skin from the elements, including wind and cold (5).
Another study reports that vegetable glycerin may be more effective than a placebo at reducing sensations of smarting in people with eczema. However, it appears to have no effect on stinging, itching, drying or irritation (7).
May Reduces Constipation
Vegetable glycerin may provide some relief from constipation.
That’s because it can draw water into your gut. This has a laxative effect, which helps digested food move through your gut more smoothly.
For this reason, glycerin is often used as a suppository.
In one study, glycerin suppositories were significantly more effective at reducing constipation caused by pain-killing medication than other types of laxatives (8).
In another, a glycerin enema was 16.5% more effective at relieving constipation than a liquid soap enema (9).
May Boost Hydration and Athletic Performance
Glycerin may also boost hydration, which can improve your athletic performance.
Dehydration can greatly impair athletic performance, especially when sweat loss exceeds 2% of your body weight (10).
A good strategy to avoid dehydration is to drink enough liquids both before and during exercise. However, it can be impractical to drink during certain types of physical activity. In such a case, drinking plenty beforehand is key.
The problem with drinking large amounts in a short timespan is that a sizable portion of the fluid is generally lost through urine in the following hour.
However, in one meta-analysis, adding 2.4 grams of glycerin per pound of body weight (1.1 grams per kg) to water drunk before exercise increased fluid retention by 50% compared to water alone. Glycerin may also lead to small improvements in athletic performance (11).
In another study, a glycerin drink was also more effective than water or a sports drink at improving hydration in athletes who lost significant amounts of water through sweating during exercise (12).
Summary Vegetable glycerin may act as a moisturizer, reduce skin irritation, protect against infection and boost wound healing. It may also help relieve constipation and promote hydration and physical performance. That said, more studies are needed.
- Inder WJ, Swanney MP, Donald RA, et al. The effect of glycerol and desmopressin on exercise performance and hydration in triathletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:1263-9. View abstract.
- Knight C, Braakhuis A, Paton C. The effect of glycerol ingestion on performance during simulated multisport activity. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2010 Jun;81(2):233-8. View abstract.
- Koehler K, Thevis M, Schaenzer W. Meta-analysis: Effects of glycerol administration on plasma volume, haemoglobin, and haematocrit. Drug Test Anal. 2013 Nov-Dec;5(11-12):896-9. View abstract.
- Livingston MH, Shawyer AC, Rosenbaum PL, Williams C, Jones SA, Walton JM. Glycerin enemas and suppositories in premature infants: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2015;135(6):1093-106. View abstract.
- Montner P, Stark DM, Riedesel ML, et al. Pre-exercise glycerol hydration improves cycling endurance time. Int J Sports Med 1996;17:27-33. View abstract.
- Murray R, Eddy DE, Paul GL, et al. Physiological responses to glycerol ingestion during exercise. J Appl Physiol 1991;71:144-9. View abstract.
- Peltola H, Roine I, Fernández J, Zavala I, Ayala SG, Mata AG, Arbo A, Bologna R, Miño G, Goyo J, López E, de Andrade SD, Sarna S. Adjuvant glycerol and/or dexamethasone to improve the outcomes of childhood bacterial meningitis: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Nov 15;45(10):1277-86. View abstract.
- Rajagopal R, Srinivasan M. Oral glycerol ingestion causes pseudohypertriglyceridemia. Am J Med. 2017;130(12):e543-e544. View abstract.
- Robergs RA, Griffin SE. Glycerol. Biochemistry, pharmacokinetics and clinical and practical applications. Sports Med 1998;26:145-67. View abstract.
- Sankar J, Singhi P, Bansal A, Ray P, Singhi S. Role of dexamethasone and oral glycerol in reducing hearing and neurological sequelae in children with bacterial meningitis. Indian Pediatr. 2007 Sep;44(9):649-56. View abstract.
- Stanko RT, Reynolds HR, Hoyson R, et al. Pyruvate supplementation of a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet: effects on plasma lipid concentrations and body composition in hyperlipidemic patients. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59:423-7. View abstract.
- van Rosendal SP, Strobel NA, Osborne MA, Fassett RG, Coombes JS. Hydration and endocrine responses to intravenous fluid and oral glycerol. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015 Jun;25 Suppl 1:112-25. View abstract.
- Van Rosendal SP, Strobel NA, Osborne MA, Fassett RG, Coombes JS. Performance benefits of rehydration with intravenous fluid and oral glycerol. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Sep;44(9):1780-90. View abstract.
- Wagner DR. Hyperhydrating with glycerol: implications for athletic performance. J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99:207-12. View abstract.
- Wall EC, Ajdukiewicz KM, Bergman H, Heyderman RS, Garner P. Osmotic therapies added to antibiotics for acute bacterial meningitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;2:CD008806. View abstract.
- Yu YL, Kumana CR, Lauder IJ, et al. Treatment of acute cerebral hemorrhage with intravenous glycerol. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Stroke 1992;23:967-71. View abstract.
- Yu YL, Kumana CR, Lauder IJ, et al. Treatment of acute cortical infarct with intravenous glycerol. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial. Stroke 1993;24:1119-24. View abstract.
- Arnall DA, Goforth HW. Failure to reduce body water loss in cold-water immersion by glycerol ingestion. Undersea Hyperb Med 1993;20:309-20. View abstract.
- Balaskas E, Szepietowski JC, Bessis D, Ioannides D, Ponticelli C, Ghienne C, Taberly A, Dupuy P. Randomized, double-blind study with glycerol and paraffin in uremic xerosis. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Apr;6(4):748-52. View abstract.
- Bayer AJ, Pathy MS, Newcombe R. Double-blind randomised trial of intravenous glycerol in acute stroke. Lancet 1987;:405-8. View abstract.
- Bjorvell H, Hylander B, Rossner S. Effects of glycerol addition to diet in weight-reducing clubs. Int J Obes 1984;8:129-33. View abstract.
- Blanchet-Bardon C, Tadini G, Machado Matos M, Delarue A. Association of glycerol and paraffin in the treatment of ichthyosis in children: an international, multicentric, randomized, controlled, double-blind study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Aug;26(8):1014-9. View abstract.
- Brooks J, Ersser SJ, Cowdell F, Gardiner E, Mengistu A, Matts PJ. A randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of a new skincare regimen on skin barrier function in those with podoconiosis in Ethiopia. Br J Dermatol. 2017;177(5):1422-1431. View abstract.
- Butler-O’Hara M, Reininger A, Wang H, Amin SB, Rodgers NJ, D’Angio CT. A randomized controlled trial of glycerin suppositories during phototherapy in premature neonates. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2017;46(2):220-228. View abstract.
- Covington TR, et al. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 11th ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996.
- Dry skin management. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter 2008;24(3):240316.
- Fawer R, Justafre JC, Berger JP, Schelling JL. Intravenous glycerol in cerebral infarction: a controlled 4-month trial. Stroke 1978;9:484-6. View abstract.
- Frei A, Cottier C, Wunderlich P, Ludin E. Glycerol and dextran combined in the therapy of acute stroke. A placebo-controlled, double-blind trial with a planned interim analysis. Stroke 1987;18:373-9. View abstract.
- Friedli W, Imbach P, Ghisleni-Steinegger S, et al. . Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1979;109:737-42. View abstract.
- Goulet ED, Aubertin-Leheudre M, Plante GE, Dionne IJ. A meta-analysis of the effects of glycerol-induced hyperhydration on fluid retention and endurance performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007 Aug;17(4):391-410. View abstract.
- Goulet EDB, De La Flore A, Savoie FA, Gosselin J. Salt?+?glycerol-induced hyperhydration enhances fluid retention more than salt- or glycerol-induced hyperhydration. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018;28(3):246-252. View abstract.
- Harding CR, Matheson JR, Hoptroff M, Jones DA, Luo Y, Baines FL, Luo S. A high glycerol-containing leave-on scalp care treatment to improve dandruff. Skinmed. 2014 May-Jun;12(3):155-61. View abstract.
- Hornigold R, Gillett D, Kiverniti E, Harries M. The management of otitis externa: a randomised controlled trial of a glycerol and icthammol ribbon gauze versus topical antibiotic and steroid drops. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Oct;265(10):1199-203. View abstract.
- Ibrahim T, Li Wei C, Bautista D, Sriram B, Xiangzhen Fay L, Rajadurai VS. Saline enemas versus glycerin suppositories to promote enteral feeding in premature infants: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Neonatology. 2017;112(4):347-353. View abstract.
Arnall DA, Goforth HW. Failure to reduce body water loss in cold-water immersion by glycerol ingestion. Undersea Hyperb Med 1993;20:309-20. View abstract.
Bayer AJ, Pathy MS, Newcombe R. Double-blind randomised trial of intravenous glycerol in acute stroke. Lancet 1987;:405-8. View abstract.
Bjorvell H, Hylander B, Rossner S. Effects of glycerol addition to diet in weight-reducing clubs. Int J Obes 1984;8:129-33. View abstract.
Covington TR, et al. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 11th ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996.
Dry skin management. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter 2008;24(3):240316.
Fawer R, Justafre JC, Berger JP, Schelling JL. Intravenous glycerol in cerebral infarction: a controlled 4-month trial. Stroke 1978;9:484-6. View abstract.
Frei A, Cottier C, Wunderlich P, Ludin E. Glycerol and dextran combined in the therapy of acute stroke. A placebo-controlled, double-blind trial with a planned interim analysis. Stroke 1987;18:373-9. View abstract.
Friedli W, Imbach P, Ghisleni-Steinegger S, et al. . Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1979;109:737-42. View abstract.
Inder WJ, Swanney MP, Donald RA, et al. The effect of glycerol and desmopressin on exercise performance and hydration in triathletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:1263-9. View abstract.
Montner P, Stark DM, Riedesel ML, et al. Pre-exercise glycerol hydration improves cycling endurance time. Int J Sports Med 1996;17:27-33. View abstract.
Murray R, Eddy DE, Paul GL, et al. Physiological responses to glycerol ingestion during exercise. J Appl Physiol 1991;71:144-9. View abstract.
Robergs RA, Griffin SE. Glycerol. Biochemistry, pharmacokinetics and clinical and practical applications. Sports Med 1998;26:145-67. View abstract.
Stanko RT, Reynolds HR, Hoyson R, et al. Pyruvate supplementation of a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet: effects on plasma lipid concentrations and body composition in hyperlipidemic patients. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59:423-7. View abstract.
Wagner DR. Hyperhydrating with glycerol: implications for athletic performance. J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99:207-12. View abstract.
Yu YL, Kumana CR, Lauder IJ, et al. Treatment of acute cerebral hemorrhage with intravenous glycerol. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Stroke 1992;23:967-71. View abstract.
Yu YL, Kumana CR, Lauder IJ, et al. Treatment of acute cortical infarct with intravenous glycerol. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial. Stroke 1993;24:1119-24. View abstract.
Summit Medical Group Web Site
What are other names for this medicine?
Type of medicine: hyperosmotic laxative
Generic and brand names: glycerin, rectal; Colace Glycerin Suppositories; Glycerin Suppositories; Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppositories; Pedia-Lax; Sani-Supp (There may be other brand names for this medicine.)
What is this medicine used for?
This medicine is a laxative used in the rectum to relieve constipation. It comes as suppositories or as a liquid with a special applicator. You can buy these products without a prescription.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as determined by your healthcare provider.
What should my healthcare provider know before I take this medicine?
Before using this medicine, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had:
- An allergic reaction to any medicine
- Intestinal blockage
- Rectal bleeding
Females of childbearing age: Talk to your healthcare provider before using a laxative if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
How do I use it?
Check the label on the medicine for directions about your specific dose. Follow any directions your healthcare provider gives you or that come with the product.
Do not use this medicine in children under age 2.
This medicine is for rectal use only. Do not swallow the medicine.
Gently push the suppository into your rectum (pointed end first) deep enough so that it will not come out. Adult suppositories are bullet-shaped, while those for children are long and slender. Keep lying down for about 5 minutes. This lets the medicine dissolve. Suppositories should stay in the rectum for 15 to 30 minutes. The suppository does not need to melt completely to be effective.
If you have the liquid form, gently insert the tip of the applicator containing this medicine into the rectum. Squeeze the applicator to release the liquid, and then remove the applicator. It is normal for a small amount of the liquid to stay in the applicator.
This medicine will produce a bowel movement in 15 minutes to 1 hour after you use it.
What if I overdose?
If you or anyone else has intentionally taken too much of this medicine, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away. If you pass out, have seizures, weakness or confusion, or have trouble breathing, call 911. If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of this medicine, call the poison control center. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. The poison control center number is 800-222-1222.
Symptoms of an acute overdose may include: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain.
What should I watch out for?
Do not use this or any other laxative if you have abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting unless your healthcare provider approves. If you notice a sudden change in bowel habits that continues for 2 weeks or longer, talk with your healthcare provider before using a laxative. Do not use laxatives for longer than 1 week unless your healthcare provider approves.
If you have rectal bleeding or cannot have a bowel movement after using a laxative, stop using this product and call your healthcare provider.
If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this medicine.
What are the possible side effects?
Along with its needed effects, your medicine may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.
Life-threatening (Report these to your healthcare provider right away. If you cannot reach your healthcare provider right away, get emergency medical care or call 911 for help.): Allergic reaction (hives; itching; rash; trouble breathing; chest pain or tightness in your chest; swelling of your lips, tongue, and throat).
Serious (report these to your healthcare provider right away): Bleeding from the rectum, severe abdominal pain, failure to have a bowel movement.
Other: Rectal or stomach discomfort, burning sensation.
What products might interact with this medicine?
No significant drug interactions have been reported.
If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.
How should I store this medicine?
You may store this medicine at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Keeping them refrigerated may make them easier to insert. Keep the container tightly closed. Protect it from heat, high humidity, and bright light.
This advisory includes selected information only and may not include all side effects of this medicine or interactions with other medicines. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions.
Ask your pharmacist for the best way to dispose of outdated medicine or medicine you have not used. Do not throw medicine in the trash.
Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
Do not share medicines with other people.
About glycerol suppositories
|Type of medicine||Laxative|
|Also called||Glycerin suppositories|
Constipation can be caused by a poor diet, not drinking enough water and not going to the toilet as soon as you feel you need to. Pregnancy, a lack of exercise or movement (such as being ill in bed) and some medicines, including some painkillers, can also cause constipation. However, many people take laxatives when they do not need to because they believe that they are constipated unless they go to the toilet every day. This is not the case. A useful definition of constipation is going to the toilet less frequently than is normal for you, and passing hard stools when you do go.
Glycerol suppositories are used to treat constipation. They can be bought without a prescription at pharmacies and other retail outlets. Glycerol is a mild irritant. It works by encouraging muscles around your back passage to contract. This helps you to go to the toilet.
Before using glycerol suppositories
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, ask for advice from a doctor or pharmacist before you start using glycerol suppositories if any of the following apply to you:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only use medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- If they are for a child. This is because laxatives should only be given to children on the advice of a doctor or healthcare professional.
- If you have severe pain in your tummy (abdomen) or feel sick.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to use glycerol suppositories
- Before you start using the suppositories, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside your pack.
- Use one suppository when needed. It will take about 20 minutes to work.
How to use a suppository
- Remove the suppository from the wrapping.
- Most people find it helps to insert the suppository if it is moistened with a little tap water first.
- Using a finger, gently push the suppository into your back passage (rectum) as far as is comfortable.
- Remain still for a little while to help hold the suppository in place. It will start to work in about 20 minutes or so.
- Wash your hands afterwards.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Unless you have been told otherwise by your doctor, laxatives like glycerol suppositories should only be used to provide short-term relief from constipation. If you are still constipated after using these suppositories for three days, you should see your doctor.
- A healthy diet containing fibre (wholegrain breads and cereals, bran, fruit and green leafy vegetables) with several glasses of water each day and daily exercise are important in maintaining healthy bowel function. For people who have problems with constipation, food such as pastries, puddings, sugar, sweets, cheese and cake can make matters worse and are best avoided.
- You can read more about how to prevent or treat constipation in the separate condition leaflets called Constipation in Adults and Constipation in Children.
Can glycerol suppositories cause problems?
Glycerol suppositories do not usually lead to side-effects, but on occasions they may irritate or cause stomach cramp. If you experience any other symptoms, speak with a doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store glycerol suppositories
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Suppositories are for rectal use only. If someone swallows any, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.
Never keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Worried about how to use suppositories? Our resident pharmacist Rita Ghelani explains how to tackle the task of inserting a suppository.
What are suppositories?
Suppositories are solid, bullet-shaped preparations designed for easy insertion into the anus (back passage). They are normally made of a solid vegetable oil that contains the medicine. The suppository dissolves at body temperature and gradually spreads over the lining of the lower bowel (rectum), where it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Suppositories are used either to provide a local action in the rectum for example Anusol suppositories, or as an alternative to oral forms of medicine when someone is continuously feeling sick or is unable to take anything by mouth, for example paracetamol suppositories. The medicine is easily absorbed from the rectum as there is a rich supply of blood vessels in this area.
How to use your suppositories
▪️ Go to the toilet and empty your bowels if necessary. Wash your hands.
▪️ Remove any foil or plastic wrapping from the suppository.
▪️ Either squat or lie on your side with one leg bent and the other straight.
▪️ Gently but firmly push the suppository into the rectum, pointed end first. If necessary moisten the end of the suppository with a little water. Push it in far enough so that it doesn’t slip out.
▪️ Close your legs and sit or lie still for a few minutes. Wash your hands again.
▪️ Try not to empty your bowels for at least an hour, unless the suppository is a laxative.
Other useful info to know about suppositories
▪️ Once in the rectum the suppository will melt and may leak from your rectum. You may find it more comfortable to insert the suppository before going to bed at night rather than during the day, however follow the instructions given by your doctor. If you do insert suppositories during the day, be aware that some suppositories can stain your clothes.
▪️ STORAGE: store your suppositories in a cool dark place, but not in the fridge unless specifically instructed. If they get too warm they may melt and not be firm enough to insert.
▪️ Always use the medicine according to the printed label or as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.
▪️ Don’t give your medicines to anyone else to use, even if they have the same symptoms as you. They may be harmful to other people.
▪️ If you miss a dose of your suppositories, insert it as soon as you remember, and then go on as before.
▪️ Suppositories are designed only for insertion into the rectum and must not be taken by mouth. If they are accidentally swallowed, tell your doctor at once.
▪️ Do not use your suppositories after the expiry date on the pack.
Last updated 28.10.2019
Rita Ghelani (BPharm, MRPharmS) Pharmacist A UK registered practising pharmacist with over 20 years’ experience, Rita is a member of the medical journalists’ association (MJA) and has a wealth of experience in community pharmacy.