How to Insert the Suppository & Apply the Topical Ointment Dressing

Suppository and Topical Ointment Dressing

Part of your treatment plan at the N.A. Hemorrhoids Centre may include prescribed suppositories and topical ointments. These can be difficult to apply on your own, so we recommend visiting the clinic to have one of our professionals help with the process. However, we recognize that this isn’t possible for every patient, so we’ve put together detailed instructions for inserting suppositories and applying the topical ointment at home. 

Important Tips:

  • Store the suppositories in a cool place to prevent melting. Keep them in the refrigerator if possible.
  • Consider trimming your fingernails to help prevent cuts and scratches while inserting the suppository.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and immediately after applying the medicine.
  • Use latex gloves or finger cots to protect your fingers while inserting the suppository. You can buy these at your local pharmacy.
  • Use the ointment the clinic provides to lubricate the tip of the suppository or apply a small amount of water to your rectal area
  • The medicines need to stay inside the anorectal area for at least 6 hours. Ideally, you should apply for the medicine after a bowel moment or before going to bed.
  • Avoid exercise or lots of movement for one hour after applying the topical medicine.
  • Be sure to push the suppository far enough into the rectum past the sphincter.
  • If you use a side-lying position, lie down on your non-surgical side.

Inserting the Suppository

  1. Get into either L Shape Stand Position 1 or C-shape Side-Lying Position 2
  • L Shape Standing Position 1: Stand with one foot up on a chair/stool. 
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  • C shape Side-Lying Position 2: You can also side lie down with your top leg slightly bent toward your stomach and with your bottom leg straight. (Lie down on your non-surgical side). If you’re giving the suppository to someone else to apply, you may want to place them in position 2.
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  1. Relax your buttocks to make it easier to insert the suppository.
  2. Insert the suppository into the rectum gently and push it one inch past the sphincter. 
  3. Sit or lie with your legs closed for 2 minutes after finishing up the application.

Inserting the Topical Ointment Dressing:

  1. Use a medical-grade cotton tip

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  1. Consider trimming your fingernails to help prevent cuts and scratches while inserting the suppository.
  2. Pick one string of ointment dressing and put it on your palm. Place your cotton tip a quarter of the way from the end of the string and hold it up

  1. Gently insert the ointment dressing while leaning to the non-surgical side. Leave a little “tail” outside.
  2. Gently remove the cotton tip on the non-surgical side.

  1. Ensure proper final positioning. 

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