Suppository Instructions

Follow these instructions when giving your child a suppository (say: suh-POZ-a-tor-ee):

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • If the suppository is very soft, before you take the wrapper off, chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or run cold water over it.
Get Adobe Flash player
  • Remove the wrapper (foil or plastic) if there is one, from the suppository.
  • Put on a disposable glove or finger cot if you like. These are usually available in your pharmacy.
Get Adobe Flash player
  • Lie your child on his or her side with the lower leg straightened out and the upper leg bent forward toward the stomach. Insert the suppository into the rectum (bum) with your finger, aiming it toward your child's belly button. The suppository should be placed 1/2 to 1 inch inside the opening of the rectum. If it is inserted deeper, the suppository may pop back out.
  • If the suppository does not slide in easily, the tip may be wet with cool water or a lubricant such as K-Y Jelly or Muko. The lubricant should be labeled as "water soluble". Do not use petroleum jelly (Vaseline). If you have trouble finding the right lubricant, ask your pharmacist.
Get Adobe Flash player
  • After you have inserted the suppository, hold your child's buttocks together for a few seconds.
  • Have your child remain lying down for about 15 minutes to avoid having the suppository coming back out.
Get Adobe Flash player
  • Discard any used materials.
  • Wash your hands.
  • If you are to give a part of one suppository (1/2, 1/4, etc.) cut it lengthwise (end to end), not across the middle. Ask your pharmacist if you have any difficulties with this.
Get Adobe Flash player

Some suppositories should be stored in a cool place or in the refrigerator. Ask your pharmacist about proper storage instructions.

Keep all medicines out of your child's sight and reach.

If your child takes too much of any medicine, call the Ontario Poison Centre at one of these numbers. These calls are free.

  • Call 416-813-5900 if you live in Toronto.
  • Call 1-800-268-9017 if you live somewhere else in Ontario.
  • If you live outside of Ontario, call your local Poison Information Centre.

Disclaimer: The information in this Family Med-aid is accurate at the time of printing. It provides a summary of information about suppositories and does not contain all possible information. Not all side effects are listed. If you have any questions or want more information about suppositories, speak to your health care provider.

Rita V. Kutti, BScPhm, RPh