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How to administer rectal suppositories

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1. Wash hands cleanly with soap and water. 

2. Hold the suppository under running cold water to harden it if it is soft. Then remove the wrapper, if it is present.

3. If it is prescribed to use only half of the suppository, cut it lengthwise with a clean razor blade.

4. Wear a finger cot or a disposable glove, if required.

5. Lubricate the tip of the suppository with a water-soluble lubricant such as K-Y Jelly. Do not use petroleum jelly (Vaseline). If water-soluble lubricant is not available, moisten the rectal area with cold tap water.

6. Lie on the side with the lower leg straightened out and the upper leg bent forward toward the stomach.

7. Slightly lift the upper buttock to expose the rectal area.

8. Insert the pointed end of the suppository first. Gently push with the finger until the suppository passes the muscular sphincter of the rectum. If the suppository is not inserted past the sphincter, it may pop out. In adults the sphincter is about 1 inch inside, and in infants it is about 1/2 to 1 inch inside.

9. Hold the buttocks together for a few seconds.

10. Stay lying down in the same position for about 15 minutes to prevent the suppository from coming out.

11. Throw away the used materials.

12. Wash hands neatly with soap and water.

13. Store the remaining suppositories in a cool and dry place. If refrigeration is recommended, please do so.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: July 23, 2014