Suppositories are solid dosage form of medicament which is made for insertion into the body cavities. They may be Conical or ovoid medicated solids intended for insertion into several cavities of the body other than the mouth. This term was derived from the Latin word suppositions, meaning ‘‘to place under.” They may be inserted in the rectum, vagina, and to a lesser extent, the urethra for local or systemic effects. Rectal and urethral suppositories usually employ vehicles that melt or soften at body temperature, whereas vaginal suppositories, sometimes called pessaries, are also made as compressed tablets that disintegrate in the body fluids and exert localized or systemic effects.
Advantages of Suppositories
- Suppositories can exert a local effect on rectal mucosa.
- It is used to promote evacuation of the bowel.
- It avoids any gastrointestinal irritation.
- Suppositories can be used in unconscious patients (e.g. during fits).
- Suppositories can be used for systemic absorption of drugs and to avoid first-pass metabolism.
- It is useful for babies or old people who cannot swallow oral medication.
- It is also useful for post-operative people who cannot be administered oral medication.
- It is a very suitable dosage form for people suffering from severe nausea or vomiting.
Disadvantages of Suppositories
- Suppositories have a problem with patient acceptability.
- In some cases, the total amount of the drug must be given. This will be either too irritating or in a greater amount than reasonably can be placed into a suppository.
- Incomplete absorption may be obtained because the suppository usually promotes evacuation of the bowel.
- Suppositories are not suitable for patients suffering from diarrhea.
Types of Suppositories
1. Rectal suppositories: These are administered rectally either to treat local conditions such as hemorrhoids or to achieve systemic absorption (sedatives, tranquilizers, and analgesics). Rectal suppositories can be used when the patient is unable to take medication by mouth, or when the patient is unconscious.
2. Vaginal suppositories: These are applied vaginally for a local effect. The vaginal suppositories are larger than the rectal suppositories. They are used for their local action in the vagina.
3. Urethral suppositories: These are cylindrical dosage forms, administered urethral to treat local conditions. They are unusual dosage forms.
4. Nasal suppositories: The nasal suppositories are also called nasal bougies or Bulgaria. The nasal suppositories are meant for introduction into the nasal cavity. They are usually prepared with a glycerogelatin base.
5. Ear cones: Ear cones are used for insertion into the ear. They are also known as Auraria. They are used rarely. For the preparation of ear cones generally, theobroma oil is used as a base. They are prepared in urethral bougies mold and cut according to size.
Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on : Preparation of Ringer’s Solution