Hemorrhoid Suppositories: Are They an Effective Treatment?

A woman holding her buttocks due to hemorrhoid pain.

Hemorrhoids are a common problem affecting over half of adults over 50, and they can cause significant pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, people are often embarrassed to talk about the fact that they have hemorrhoids, and they may not know what their treatment options are. While several treatments are available to treat hemorrhoids, suppositories are often one of the most effective options. If you are currently struggling with hemorrhoid side effects, keep reading for an overview of the benefits of hemorrhoid suppositories and their effectiveness compared to other common treatment options.  

What is a Hemorrhoid?

You may have heard people talk about hemorrhoids. You may have even experienced them yourself. You are not alone if you are unsure what exactly hemorrhoids are or what causes them. Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in and around the anus and rectum that can enlarge and irritate, causing pain and discomfort. While hemorrhoids can be painful, they are not usually serious. 

Constipation, diarrhea, pregnancy, and excessive straining during bowel movements can cause hemorrhoids. They are usually the result of too much pressure on veins in the pelvic area. Hemorrhoids can either be external, meaning that they occur outside the anus, or internal, in which they appear inside the anus and rectum. Hemorrhoids can cause itching, pain, irritation, and make it difficult/painful to pass a bowel movement.  

Are Hemorrhoid Suppositories Effective?

If you suffer from the itching and burning sensation of hemorrhoids, you may wonder what treatment options are available. What is the most effective way to relieve your symptoms? The most common hemorrhoid treatment options include topical ointments/creams and hemorrhoid suppositories. Suppositories are small, torpedo-shaped objects. People insert them into the anus. They are a popular option for treating hemorrhoids. 

Hemorrhoid suppositories are made of a material that dissolves at body temperature. This allows the bloodstream to absorb the suppository’s medicine. Suppositories are a safe and easy hemorrhoid treatment option known to be very effective. For mild to moderate hemorrhoids, your symptoms will likely resolve a few days after starting treatment with suppositories.     

Do They Only Work on Internal Hemorrhoids?

Suppositories are one of the most commonly recommended treatments for hemorrhoids, yet you may wonder if they will treat your hemorrhoids. Considering that they are inserted into the anus, many assume they only work on internal hemorrhoids. Suppositories are indeed very effective at treating internal hemorrhoids. The active ingredients in the medication can come into direct contact with the enlarged vein. They can be effective at treating external hemorrhoids as well. This is because the bloodstream quickly absorbs the medication in the suppositories. Suppositories can relieve by shrinking inflamed blood vessels, helping to soothe internal and external hemorrhoid pain.   

Suppository vs. Topical

If you are like many people, you may be more familiar with topical hemorrhoid treatments like creams and ointments. Yet, how do topical treatments compare to suppositories, and how will you know which one better suits your needs? Ultimately, the best course of action will depend on your type of hemorrhoids and personal preference. People generally prefer creams and ointments for external hemorrhoids. You can apply them directly to the hemorrhoid to relieve itching, burning, and mild pain. Alternatively, suppositories are the best option for internal hemorrhoids, as they can deliver medicine inside the rectum, helping alleviate discomfort. If you choose hemorrhoid suppositories, you can use these two to four times a day for a week. It is better to insert a suppository after a bowel movement so that the effects last longer. 

Suppository Options

If you decide that a suppository is the best treatment option for your hemorrhoids, you will have three main types of suppositories to choose from. These include:

  • Analgesics and Anesthetics: Analgesic suppositories, such as pramoxine, provide hemorrhoid relief by numbing the nerve endings in the anus and rectum. This can help to provide temporary relief from pain and discomfort. 
  • Vasoconstrictors: Perhaps the most common type of hemorrhoidal suppositories are vasoconstrictors. They contain ingredients like phenylephrine. Vasoconstrictors help shrink vessels, reducing the swelling that often causes the pain, itching, and irritation associated with hemorrhoids.
  • Protective: Protective suppositories contain zinc oxide, which works to form a protective barrier over the hemorrhoids. This can help to significantly reduce hemorrhoid symptoms by protecting them from irritation.  

Are Hemorrhoid Suppositories a Permanent Solution?

While topical ointments and suppositories can provide significant symptom relief for people with hemorrhoids, you must know that these are not permanent solutions. Suppositories do not cure the hemorrhoids or make them go away. They can simply mask or lessen the severity of symptoms by reducing swelling, inflammation, pain, and discomfort. Over-the-counter treatments can only help alleviate symptoms until the hemorrhoids go away. However, in some cases, hemorrhoids can be recurring/chronic. With this in mind, you must talk to your doctor about permanent treatment options. Your doctor can suggest diet and lifestyle changes that can prevent hemorrhoids from returning, or they may suggest surgery depending on your condition’s severity.  

Hemorrhoids are a common condition that causes itching, pain, and irritation. Unfortunately for many people, hemorrhoids are not a one-time thing but are a chronic, recurring condition. If you struggle with hemorrhoid symptoms, you must see a doctor to learn about treatment options.

Feel free to contact us. Learn more about hemorrhoid suppositories and how you will know if they are the best option for your condition.