Friday, February 12, 2016

Taber's Medical Dictionary: Suppository


A suppository is a drug delivery system that is inserted into the rectum (rectal suppository), vagina (vaginal suppository) or urethra (urethral suppository), where it dissolves or melts and is absorbed into the blood stream. They are used to deliver both systemically and locally acting medications.

pl. suppositories [L. suppositorium, something placed underneath] 

A semisolid substance for introduction into the rectum, vagina, or urethra, where it dissolves. It may be used to stimulate a bowel movement, but often serves as a vehicle for medicines to be absorbed. It is commonly shaped like a cylinder or cone and may be made of soap, glycerinated gelatin, or cocoa butter (oil of theobroma).

Composition :
Several different options are used to form the base of a suppository: cocoa butter or a similar substitute, polyethylene glycol, hydrogels and glycerinated gelatin. The ideal type of material to use depends on the type of suppository, the type of drug and the conditions in which the suppository will be stored.

Privacy is provided. The nurse instructs the patient to retain the suppository for about 20 min for effectiveness as a laxative, and for as long as possible (until it dissolves and medication is absorbed) when it is a vehicle, and positions the patient appropriately. The suppository is lubricated and inserted into the appropriate orifice. For neurological rehabilitation, a rectal suppository may be used by the patient after instruction in bowel management. The nurse checks with the patient about effectiveness and notes that in the chart.

Rectal suppositories:
In 1991, Abd-El-Maeboud and his colleagues published a study on suppository insertion in The Lancet,explaining that the "torpedo" shape, when introduced to the patient blunt end first, helps the device to travel internally, increasing its efficacy. The findings of this single study have been challenged as insufficient evidence on which to base clinical practice.

Urethral suppositories:
Alprostadil pellets are urethral suppositories used for the treatment of severe erectile dysfunction. They are marketed under the name Muse in the United States.Its use has diminished since the development of oral impotence medications.
Glycerin suppositories (laxative)

             Four 500 mg paracetamol suppositories