Generic Name: glycerin rectal

Brand Names: Fleet Glycerin Suppositories, Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppositories, Pedia-Lax Glycerin Suppositories, Pedia-Lax Liquid Glycerin Suppositories

Drug Class: Laxatives, Osmotic

What is glycerin rectal, and what is it used for?

Glycerin rectal is a medication administered rectally in the form of suppositories, to relieve occasional constipation in both adults and children.

Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a sugar alcohol compound that is present in fats such as triglycerides. Glycerin is also synthetically produced in labs and used as a solvent, emollient, sweetening agent, and pharmaceutical agent. Glycerin rectal suppositories are available over the counter.

Glycerin rectal is an osmotic laxative that relieves constipation by drawing water into the colon and softening the stools. In addition, glycerin may irritate the colon locally, stimulating bowel movement. Glycerin also has lubricating and softening properties that ease evacuation. Glycerin rectal typically works within 15 to 30 minutes after inserting the suppository.

Warnings

  • Do not use glycerin rectal if the patient has:
    • Severe fecal impaction
    • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Consult with your doctor before using glycerin rectal if you have nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or changes in bowel habits that persist for longer than 2 weeks.
  • Do not use OTC glycerin rectal in children younger than 2 years.
  • Contact your physician if you do not have a bowel movement within 1 hour of using glycerin rectal or if you have rectal bleeding.
  • Do not use glycerin rectal for longer than 1 week unless directed by your doctor.
  • Frequent and prolonged use of laxatives may cause dependence.

What are the side effects of glycerin rectal?

Common side effects of glycerin rectal include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Rectal irritation
  • Cramping pain
  • Excessive bowel activity
  • Feeling the need to pass stools even when bowels are empty (tenesmus)

This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug.

Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What are the dosages of glycerin rectal?

Suppositories

  • 1 g (Pedia-Lax, generic)
  • 1.5 g
  • 2 g (Fleet, generic)
  • 2.1 g
  • 2.8 g (Pedia-Lax liquid)

Occasional Constipation

Suppository

Adult:

  • 2-2.8 g suppository inserted in rectum, retain for about 15 minutes as needed for constipation or as directed
  • Do not use laxative products for longer than 1 week unless directed by a doctor

Pediatric:

Children of 2-6 years

  • 1g suppository, retain 15 minutes, as needed for constipation

Children older than 6 years

  • 2-2.8 g suppository, retain 15 minutes, as needed for constipation

Administration

  • Patient should lie on left side with knees bent
  • Remove protective wrap before inserting
  • Gently insert tip into rectum with slight side-to-side movement (tip of suppository pointing toward navel)
  • For liquid suppository, squeeze bulb until all liquid is expelled and discard unit

Overdose

  • An overdose of glycerin rectal is unlikely to have any adverse effects.

What drugs interact with glycerin rectal?

Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.

  • Glycerin rectal has no known severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs.

The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.

It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information.

Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • There are no studies on glycerin rectal use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, however, there are no reports of any adverse effects on the fetus.
  • Systemic absorption from rectal suppositories is unlikely and short-term use of glycerin suppositories is generally acceptable for use in pregnancy and breastfeeding.  

What else should I know about glycerin rectal?

  • Use glycerin rectal exactly as directed in the product label.
  • Store glycerin rectal safely out of reach of children.
  • Glycerin suppositories are for rectal use only.
  • In case of accidental ingestion, seek medical help or contact Poison Control.

QUESTION

You are constipated if you don't have a bowel movement every day. See Answer

Summary

Glycerin rectal is a medication administered rectally in the form of suppositories, to relieve occasional constipation in both adults and children. Glycerin also has lubricating and softening properties that ease evacuation. Common side effects of glycerin rectal include burning sensation, rectal irritation, cramping pain, excessive bowel activity, and feeling the need to pass stools even when bowels are empty (tenesmus). Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically Reviewed on 6/22/2022
References
REFERENCES:

https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_glycerin/drugs-condition.htm

https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_fleet_suppositories_glycerin_rectal/drugs-condition.htm

https://reference.medscape.com/drug/glycerin-342014#0

https://reference.medscape.com/drug/pedialax-suppositories-glycerin-rectal-999327#0

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/glycerin-drug-information

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Glycerol