How Long Does It Take For A Suppository To Work (And Why)?

How Long Does It Take For A Suppository To Work (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 15 to 60 minutes

There are several ways that medicine may enter your body. A pill, a liquid, or an injection are all options. A suppository is a different type of medicine delivery. It’s a little, spherical, or cone-shaped instrument that you can insert into your body, in your bottom. It melts or dissolves once inside the body, releasing the drug.

Suppositories aren’t always the most pleasant product to use. They can, however, make it simpler to take medicine that you can’t swallow or that your stomach or intestines aren’t able to absorb properly.

How Long Does It Take For A Suppository To Work

How Long Does It Take For A Suppository To Work?

Types of suppositories Takes time to work
Rectal suppository15 – 60 minutes
Vaginal suppository15 – 60 minutes
Urethral suppository5 – 10 minutes

Suppositories are pills that are inserted into the rectum, vaginal canal, or urethra. The most prevalent form of the suppository is rectal suppositories. After using the suppository, you should have a bowel movement within 15 to 60 minutes.

Each person’s bowel movement is different. Adults have bowel movements anywhere from once a day to once or twice a week. The usual frequency of bowel movements in preschool children ranges from once a day to once every other day. Drinking plenty of water, eating high-fiber foods and regular exercise are the most effective ways to relieve constipation.

Doctors prescribe many types of suppositories for various medical situations and objectives. Some are placed in the rectum, while others are placed in the vagina. The use of urethral suppositories is less common. Suppositories can either cure the immediate location or go via the bloodstream to distant sections of the body.

Suppositories come in three varieties. Rectal suppositories are inserted into the rectum or the anus. They’re about an inch in length with a rounded tip. They can aid with constipation, discomfort, and nausea. Vaginal suppositories are oval-shaped suppositories that are put into the vaginal canal to treat bacterial or fungal infections, as well as vaginal dryness. Men with erectile dysfunction can use urethral suppositories to take the medication alprostadil. A grain of rice is the size of the suppository.

The few steps on how to use suppositories are as follows:

  • Take the suppository out of the wrapper.
  • Most people find that moistening the suppository with a little tap water before inserting it helps.
  • Gently put the suppository as far as possible into your back channel (rectum) using your finger.
  • Stay motionless for a few moments to assist the suppository stay in place. It should start working in around 20 minutes.
  • After that, wash your hands.

Unless your doctor tells you differently, don’t take suppositories more than once a day. When suppositories are taken too regularly, they might lead to a loss of normal bowel function and the inability to have a bowel movement without them.

Why Does It Take So Long For A Suppository To Work?

Suppository takes time to work because they are composed from an excipient that melts at body temperature. A substance, such as cocoa butter or gelatin, surrounds the medication. They are exclusively destined to be introduced in the anus. They allow a rapid action because the rectum is richly irrigated, moreover, they avoid loading the digestive system.

Suppositories are used to carry a variety of medications, and they may be needed if a person is having seizures and is unable to take medications by mouth for any reason, inability to keep tablets or liquids down due to a clog in the digestive tract that prevents the drug from passing through. Even if the medicine tastes too bad to be taken orally, people can use suppositories.

Suppositories are safe to use and do not cause any negative effects. However, some people may have discomfort or stomach pains at the site of the suppository insertion. If you have any additional symptoms, see a doctor or pharmacist for more information.

The tips for people who use suppositories are: avoid activities or strenuous exercise within 60 minutes after administration. To lubricate the suppository, avoid using petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline. It won’t melt because of this. Use only water or a lubricant with a water basis. So that suppositories don’t melt, keep them in the refrigerator or somewhere else cool. Always adhere to the labeled storage instructions.


Suppositories are useful for those who are unable to swallow drugs. If you’re having trouble utilizing suppositories, consult your doctor. If they’ve recently had rectal surgery, prostate surgery, or vaginal therapy, or have an irregular heartbeat, they should see their doctor before taking suppositories. Store the suppository in a cool place.


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