What is a suppository? The Medical Dictionary defines a suppository as a solid but readily meltable cone or cylinder of usually medicated material for insertion into a bodily passage or cavity (as the rectum, vagina, or urethra). Its conical shape allows for easy and comfortable insertion. Once inside the body, it quickly melts at body temperature and allows for absorption into the blood.
What is it for? Common conditions that may need the use of a suppository are fever, constipation and seizures. Uncommon conditions are for vaginal infections (vaginal suppositories), and for those who cannot swallow anymore. There are several medications available in suppository form. For adult use, there are suppositories for hypertension and vitamin supplementation; however, these are not yet available in our country. For pediatric use, the 3 most common medications in suppository form are paracetamol (for fever), glycerin (for constipation) and diazepam (for seizures).
When should a suppository be given? It is important to have a prescription and instructions from your pediatrician or family doctor before giving suppositories, especially if it is your first time. It is best to seek advice on the proper dosage of these medications, which is computed based on your baby’s weight. Your doctor will also examine your baby for any sores or wounds in the anal area. She will also demonstrate or give instructions on how to insert the suppository.