How Do I Choose the Best Suppositories for Constipation?

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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2014
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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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