What are the pros and cons of suppositories for children?

Using laxative suppositories for children too often can be addictive.

Before using, the pros and cons of suppositories for children should be considered. Depending on the condition being treated, the advantages of using a suppository method of treatment may vary, but may include ease of administration of the required dosages and no risk of the drug being thrown up by a child experiencing nausea and vomiting. Cons include the fact that suppositories are often uncomfortable for the patient to use and can result in an ongoing need for them in conditions such as constipation.

Some infant suppositories can be used to treat nausea and vomiting.

There are two main conditions that can justify the use of suppositories in a child. The first and most common is constipation, which may require the use of glycerin suppositories to promote a bowel movement. The benefits of using this method compared to others include the fact that even very small babies can safely use glycerin lozenges and they are often less harsh on the body than chemical laxatives. They don’t enter the bloodstream, but they work because the glycerin melts inside the colon and lubricates the hardened stool, making it easier to pass.

Consultation with a pharmacist is important before giving suppositories to children.

A disadvantage of laxative suppositories for children is that if they are used too often, children can become addicted to them. Inserting the suppository, in addition to melting the glycerin to evacuate, also stimulates the rectal muscles. This also has a laxative effect, causing involuntary straining. Frequent stimulation in this way can sometimes create dependency, which means that the sphincter muscles can become weakened and need artificial stimulation for each bowel movement.

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Suppositories are often much easier to give to a child with gastrointestinal problems than an enema.

Other suppositories for use in children are used for nausea and vomiting. They are used when vomiting is so bad that oral medication cannot stop. Medication can effectively enter the body and treat symptoms, which is important in young children because heavy vomiting can lead to dehydration.

The disadvantages of using these types of suppositories for children include the fact that they are often uncomfortable and can result in a strong need to have a bowel movement. This sensation usually passes after the suppository has melted, but it can be very uncomfortable in the meantime. In patients who also suffer from diarrhea, the insertion may encourage evacuation. Children may also feel self-conscious when a parent or doctor inserts the drug.

Suppositories for children should not be used unless other treatment methods are not available or are not recommended for one reason or another. While generally not dangerous, the use of rectally inserted medications can be uncomfortable for both parents and child. As with any medication, parents should consult a physician or pharmacist before using suppositories. Consultation is especially recommended when used with a child under the age of two.

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