Hemorrhoids - Home Remedies

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OTC medications and home remedies for hemorrhoids

Grade 1 hemorrhoids are treated symptomatically. There can be some spasm of the anal muscles. Warm sitz baths, sitting in a warm tub for 20 minutes, two or three times a day may be helpful. Avoiding spicy food may also prevent anal itching. Over-the-counter medications may be helpful.

  • Medications are used to control symptoms by softening the stool, decreasing the inflammation of the hemorrhoids and treating the pain.
  • Stool softeners work by increasing the water and fat content within the stool allowing it to be passed more easily. Docusate sodium is most often recommended drug in this class (Colace, Surfak, Correctal).
  • Inflammation can be controlled with over-the-counter creams or suppositories. Some brand ingredients (Preparation H) include low dose topical anesthetics to help with symptoms. Others (Anusol, witch hazel) contain astringents that help shrink the swollen tissues. Both may contain low dose steroids (hydrocortisone) to decrease inflammation. People with diabetes should check with their pharmacist or health care professional before using OTC hemorrhoid treatments. If the medication contains a vasoconstrictor (for example, phenylephrine HCI, ephedrine, or epinephrine) it may elevate blood sugar levels if absorbed in large amounts.
  • Prescription strength lidocaine or hydrocortisone may be offered by the health care professional.
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See what others are saying

Comment from: 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 05

My body does not like antibiotics. For a very minor infection which was almost healed my doctor gave me a prescription 40 tablets to be taken with water one every 6 hours. I followed his direction exactly. It gave me hemorrhoids that itch and burn and light bleeding that have lasted over two months. I also had fever blisters for two weeks. I watch my diet pretty closely and have never been affected like this before! I am rarely ever sick. I may change doctors.

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Comment from: chopinlover, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I love using zinc oxide/cod liver oil diaper rash cream on my hemorrhoids. Nothing else works as fast. Preparation H doesn't work nearly as fast or as well. I also make sure to soak in a hot tub, eat lots of fiber, and use alcohol free wipes. Sometimes I will use a plain warm water enema, very carefully to make sure everything is flushed clean. Then insert liberal amount of the diaper cream into the anus, twice a day. Two years ago I did have a very severe external thrombosed hemorrhoid and I did run and get it lanced, drained and would do it again in a heartbeat. Since then I have a much smaller one that is not nearly as bad {not in same spot, the bad one never came back on that side} and I seem able to control it with the zinc cream, so far.

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