Hydrocortisone suppositories are medications which are inserted into the rectum for absorption to the body. You must leave the suppository in your rectum for the instructed amount of time to make sure that your body has sufficient time to absorb the medication. Hydrocortisone is a steroid, or a class of medication which act to decrease the body’s immune response and decrease inflammation. Because a person who has hemorrhoids may suffer from irritation and itching in the rectal area, hydrocortisone suppositories are used to treat this condition. In addition, hydrocortisone can lower swelling in the rectal area. While internal hemorrhoids are painless, it is the external hemorrhoids which become painful and irritated. It is for external hemorrhoids, which are engorged and swollen veins that present outside the body, for which hydrocortisone suppositories are most often prescribed, as the hydrocortisone can shrink the external hemorrhoids.
Hydrocortisone suppositories usually contain 1% of hydrocortisone, and can be obtained without a prescription. If your anal discomfort does not improve with the use of a hydrocortisone suppository, then make an appointment to talk with your doctor. While hydrocortisone suppositories may offer temporary relief from hemorrhoid pain, there are a variety of surgical procedures which can more definitively treat your hemorrhoids.
Hydrocortisone acts very similar to cortisone, a natural steroid produced by the human body. Cortisone, and hydrocortisone, are both steroids and both decrease the immune response, but also increase blood glucose, and decrease bone formation. The chronic long term use of hydrocortisone can predispose a person, especially women, to osteoporosis later in life. Because of the many different effects that hydrocortisone has on the human body, this medication is rarely used on a long term basis, except for certain medical conditions.
To insert the suppository first wash your hands and then lie down on your side, and bend the knee on the side opposite that you are laying on. However, if the suppository does not feel firm in its wrapper, then place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then attempt inserting it. Place the suppository into the rectum with two fingers. Then use a single finger to slowly insert the suppository into your rectum, until the suppository passes the rectal sphincter. If you can remain on your bed, then do so for twenty minutes. Don’t have a bowel movement until the suppository has been in place for the instructed amount of time. Remember to wash your hands as you likely have fecal matter on the fingers you used to insert the suppository.
Always remember to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the use of a hydrocortisone suppository. Overuse of steroids, such as hydrocortisone, can lead to unexpected health dangers as if used for an extended amount of time, such as adrenal insufficiency, and you may be required by your doctor to taper the medication. In addition, because steroids are powerful medications which can suppress the immune system, certain patients may advised against the use of this medication.
If you currently have bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infection, then taking this medication could make your condition worse. As always, if you are pregnant you should inform your doctor before being prescribed any new medication, and you should discuss with your doctor the safety of over the counter medications such as hydrocortisone.
Some popular brands of hydrocortisone suppositories include Cort-Dome, Anusol-HC,