How Do Glycerin Suppositories Work? Complete 15 Step User Guide

Author: Kurt LaCapruccia, D.S.S. (Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science)

Published: November 2, 2018

Did you know Suppositories have been used since the Old Testament? (1)

Understanding how Suppositories work is an important question for those who want to receive the most from their supplement regimen. While some people do not mind supplementing with liquid or pill, there are health enthusiasts who are seeking to absorb the highest amount of their choice of vitamin or for those with medical conditionals who cannot digest pill or liquid supplements.

Intravenous / intramuscular injections and rectal suppositories are the two best ways to absorb nutrients. These methods bypass the stomach, where most pill and liquid supplements are destroyed by the stomach acids.

I researched this topic to clearly define what is Glycerin and how Glycerin Suppositories work to boost your health.

What is a Glycerin Suppository?

A suppository is a nutrient delivery system that dissolves or melts allowing the active ingredients to be absorbed into the bloodstream. They are inserted into the rectum, vagina, or urethra. The base falls into one of two classifications: fatty or water soluble. The fatty base is made from cocoa butter (theobroma oil) or hydrogenated vegetable oils. Water soluble suppository bases consist of either polyethylene glycol or glycerinated gelatin.

The Best Glycerin Suppositories are Cocoa Butter based, torpedo shaped supplements.

Summary- The best suppositories are made with cocoa butter.

How Does a Glycerin Suppository Work?

Here is a 4 Step Breakdown of how a Glycerin Suppository works:

  1. The medicine is inserted into the rectum
  2. The medicine melts in the rectum
  3. The medicine is not largely destroyed by the stomach acids
  4. The bloodstream receives the highest percent of the medicine

Summary- Suppositories melt in the rectum, bypass the stomach and absorb directly into the blood stream.

The Benefits of Suppositories

There are many reasons a suppository is chosen over other more conventional means of supplementation or medication:

  1. Some people have a hard time swallowing pills or liquids.
  2. If there is a tendency to vomit and oral supplements would be expelled.
  3. Some medications cause stomach upset and suppositories are better tolerated.
  4. Nutrients are absorbed faster and more thoroughly since there is no breakdown of nutrients during digestion.
  5. There is less stress on kidneys and the liver compared to taking certain supplements or medications orally.

How to Insert a Suppository: 15 Steps

Step 1 – Bowel Movement

You want to make sure you have a bowel movement before inserting a suppository. If you have the urge to have a bowel movement, use the restroom before continuing this process.

Step 2 – Refrigerate Suppository

You do not want the suppository to melt before it can enter your blood stream. To avoid this problem, let Suppository firm in the Refrigerator for 4 or 5 minutes. When the Suppository feels firm, it is ready for insertion. You do not have to insert the suppository at an ice cold temperature, just below room temperature is perfect.

You can also run the suppository under cool water for 5 minutes to allow the suppository to harden.

Step 3 – Wash your hands

Sanitation is the most important factor in this process. I cannot stress enough the importance of this step. Always begin the insertion process by thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water.

Step 4 – Remove the Wrapper

Tear the wrapper of the suppository.

Step 5 – Cut the Suppository (Optional)

If you believe you only need half of the medicine, or have been advised by your doctor, you can take a clean razor blade and cut the suppository in half.

Step 6 – Put on Gloves

As stated in Step 2, Sanitation is the most important factor in suppository insertion. Putting on gloves promotes the highest degree of sanitation. This step is optional, but highly recommended. You can purchase disposable gloves at your local Pharmacy or Grocery Store.

Step 7 – Lubricate the Suppository

This step is very important to understand. Do not lubricate the Suppository with Petroleum Jelly as it is not water soluble. To fix this problem, use water soluble K-Y Jelly to correctly lubricate the suppository. If you do not have access to K-Y Jelly, you can lubricate with cool tap water.

Step 8 – Lie On Your Left Side

To get in the correct form, lie on your left side with your lower leg perfectly straight. Bend your upper leg with your knee bent as high as comfortable.

Step 9 – Open the Rectal Area

Gently grab and lift the upper buttock to expose the rectal area.

Step 10 – Insert Suppository into the Rectum

With pointed end first, use your pointer finger to massage the suppository into the exposed rectal area. Once the suppository is inserted into the rectum, keep gently applying pressure until the sphincter receives it.

Adults must push Suppository one-inch into the sphincter, it is 1/2 inch for infants. If you do not replicate this process properly, the suppository could pop out of the sphincter.

Step 11 – Close and Hold the Buttocks

While still on your side, release your hand from the buttocks and hold the buttocks together.

Step 12 – Remain in the Same Position for 30 minutes

30 minutes may seem like a long time, but you need to let the suppository melt and dissolve into your bloodstream. Stay lying for 30 minutes. Standing up too early could cause the suppository to pop out of the sphincter. You can occupy your time with a magazine or your favorite television show.

Step 13 – Stand Up

After 30 minutes, stand up and make sure the suppository has been received by your system.

Step 14 – Clean Up

Dispose of all wrappers and gloves used in the process.

Step 15 – Wash Your Hands One Last Time

Wash your hands with soap and warm water. If you experience any abnormality, contact your doctor.

Why Suppositories Instead of Oral Methods?

Because a Suppository bypasses the stomach, it can deliver the highest amount of bio available nutrients directly to the bloodstream. Some of the benefits of Suppositories include:

  1. Nutrients will not be digested by the stomach
  2. If the medicine you are taking tastes bad to you
  3. Effective to get nutrients if you can’t swallow medicine
  4. If you are vomiting and cannot hold down a liquid or pill
  5. Softening the stools
  6. Can help prevent occasional constipation
  7. Can help ease symptoms of medical conditions

Suppositories are for individuals whose stomachs are irritated by pill and liquid supplements. Because they bypass the stomach, suppositories provide you with the highest nutrient availability.

Summary- Suppositories provide you with more nutrients than pill or liquid vitamins.

Uses for Suppositories

The first use that comes to the minds of many people is using rectal suppositories for treating hemorrhoids. Another very popular use is for laxative purposes. However, there are various medications that are administered such as NSAIDS and opiates. Suppositories are also used for the administration of vitamins and minerals along with other nutritional supplements such as herbal extracts and amino acids. They are also used in many detoxification and chelation regiments.

Vaginal suppositories are typically used in the treatment of fungal and bacterial infections of the vagina. They are also used for contraception and progesterone therapy.

Urethral suppositories are used to treat erectile dysfunction (male impotence), but isn’t as popular as it once was due to other types of medications.

Are There Side Effects of Using a Suppository?

There are minor side effects of using a Suppository. Possible side effects include the following:

  1. Anal irritation
  2. Minor burning sensation
  3. Nausea
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Can cause allergic reaction in rare cases

Summary- Side effects of Suppositories are minor.

If you have a rare case of an allergic reaction, call your doctor or pharmacist.


Suppositories are the Best Delivery System for some people

Suppositories have been in use for quite a while; and with good reason. As discussed earlier, the absorption is second only to an IV, is tolerated better for some people, and is easier on some organs. If you have any questions about suppositories (or any other health concerns), please feel free to contact us. We are here to help you make the best health decisions for you.

Thank you for taking the time to read How Do Glycerin Suppositories Work? Complete 15 Step User Guide.

Reach out to our free Health and Wellness Consultation Team headed by our Certified Health Consultant, Kurt LaCapruccia, D.S.S. (Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science). Your success is our passion!

Live Vibrantly! – DR Vitamin Solutions

P.S.- I recommend you browse our VitalTox selection for the highest quality, Cocoa butter based suppositories

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