Glycerin Laxative Dependency

Glycerin Laxative Dependency

Glycerin Rectal are Hyperosmotic laxatives used to relieve occasional constipation. It works by drawing water in intestines and softening stool, causing colons to contract and produce bowel movements within 15 to 60 minutes. Some of the well known brand name producing glycerin includes Colace Suppository, Fleet Suppository and Pedia-Lax Suppository. (designed for kids 2-5 years)

This item is readily available in the following dose forms:

  • Enema
  • Suppository

When It Can be Used

Rectal laxatives may provide relief in a number of situations such as:

  • Before giving birth.
  • For a few days after giving birth.
  • Preparation for examination or surgery to aid in developing normal bowel function following a period of poor eating habits or a lack of physical exercise (glycerin suppositories only).
  • Following surgery when straining should be avoided.
  • Constipation caused by other medicines.


Some of these laxatives are available only with your doctor’s prescription. Others are available without a prescription; however, your doctor may have special instructions for the proper use and dose for your medical condition.

Usage Guidelines

Glycerin rectal suppositories can be bought without prescription from local pharmacies or retail outlets. They are for rectal use only, different strengths for adult and pediatric glycerin suppositories. Before removing the wrapping, chill the suppository in refrigerator for 30 minutes if it is too soft to insert. Wash your hands and remove the foil wrapper. Do not put mineral oil or petroleum jelly onto the suppository, moistened it with lukewarm water if needed. Lie down your body on your left side and slightly bend your right knee. Gently insert the suppository into the rectum as far as possible using your finger, pointed end first. Remain in the position for 10 to 20 minutes until you feel a strong urge for toilet.

This product should not be used more than once daily unless otherwise instructed by doctor. For pregnant mother, it should only be used when directed by doctor. Not recommended for children under the age of two.

Video Demo on How to Use Suppositories:

Side Effects

Some of the common side effects are rectal irritation/discomfort, burning sensation, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and nausea. It is unlikely to cause serious side effects, but if occur it may cause persistent stomach pain, bloody stools, rectal bleeding and persistent diarrhea. Dehydration may occur after persistent diarrhea and this may result in symptoms such as increased thirst, dizziness, unusual decreased urination or wrinkled skin. Some people who are allergic to the medicine may experience allergic reaction like rash, itching, swelling or even trouble breathing.

Glycerin rectal if used too frequent, may cause inability to have normal bowel movement without it, and become laxative dependence on it.


This product should be used to treat occasional constipation only. You should seek doctor help if constipation continued even after three days using it. Constipation is best treated by drinking plenty of fluids, eating food rich in fiber or natural laxatives and exercise regularly.