Drug information of Glycerin Suppository

Glycerin Suppository

Drug group:

This compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as sugar alcohols. These are hydrogenated forms of carbohydrate in which the carbonyl group (aldehyde or ketone, reducing sugar) has been reduced to a primary or secondary hydroxyl group.

Mechanism of effect

When administered rectally, glycerin exerts a hygroscopic and/or local irritant action, drawing water from the tissues into the feces and reflexively stimulating evacuation.


Glycerin is commonly classified as an osmotic laxative but may act additionally or alternatively through its local irritant effects; it may also have lubricating and fecal softening actions. Glycerin suppositories usually work within 15 to 30 minutes.


Onset of action: 15-30 min

Absorption: Poorly absorbed




2-2.8 g suppository, retain 15 min, PRN constipation OR


2-6 years

  • 1-1.7 g suppository, retain 15 min, PRN constipation

>6 years

  • 2-8 g suppository, retain 15 min, PRN constipation


Do not use when abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting present (unless directed by physician)

Frequent or prolonged use of laxatives may result in dependence

Rectal bleeding or failure to have bowel movement requires physician care

Contact physician before use if experience sudden change in bowel habits that last >2 wk

Do not use for longer than 1 wk

Points of recommendation

  • Do not use this medicine (glycerin suppositories) for more than 1 week unless told to do so by your doctor.
  • If you have rectal bleeding or you do not have a bowel movement after using this medicine (glycerin suppositories), talk with your doctor.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Use suppository rectally.
  • If suppository is soft, chill in a refrigerator or run cold water over it.
  • Wet suppository before putting in rectum.

Pregnancy level


Related drugs

Bisacodyl , Polyethylene glycol

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