Glycerin Rectal Suppositories

What is this medication?

GLYCERIN (GLIS er in) treats occasional constipation. It works by increasing the amount of water your intestine absorbs. This softens the stool, making it easier to have a bowel movement. It also increases pressure, which prompts the muscles in your intestines to move stool. It belongs to a group of medications called laxatives.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Colace Glycerin, Fleet, Fleet Pedia-Lax, Sani-Supp

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden change in bowel habits lasting more than 2 weeks
  • Use of this medication or another laxative for longer than 1 week
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to glycerin, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is for rectal use only. Do not take it by mouth. Take it as directed on the label. Do not use more often than directed. Wash your hands before and after use. Take off the foil wrapping. Wet the tip of the suppository with cold water to make it easier to use. Lie on your side with your lower leg straightened out and your upper leg bent forward toward your stomach. Lift upper buttock to expose the rectal area. Apply gentle pressure to insert the suppository completely into the rectum. Hold buttocks together for a few seconds. Remain lying down for about 15 minutes to avoid having the suppository come out.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be given children as young as 2 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

Advertisement

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. This medication is not for regular use. It should only be used as needed.

What may interact with this medication?

Interactions are not expected.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

Advertisement

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. If you need to use this medication for more than 1 week, talk to your care team.

Do not use any other laxatives with this medication. Drink fluids as directed to prevent dehydration. See your care team right away if you do not have a bowel movement within 1 hour of using this medication.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Rectal pain, burning, or bleeding after use

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Avoid exposure to extreme heat. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.

To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:

  • Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
  • If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put in the trash, empty the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of use.

Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

Ad
Call Appointment Center 24/7 866.320.4573
Questions 216.444.2200