1.1 Definition of suppositories
Drugs are administered by the patients through various routes in order to achieve the desired pharmaceutical effects. The enteral route and parenteral route are known as systemic route as the drugs can enter into the circulation. The enteral route consists of oral, sublingual and rectum while the parenteral route consists of intravascular, intramuscular, subcutaneous and inhalation. The suppository is a solid dosage form of the drug that can show its activity after insertion into the rectum. The shapes of the suppositories are usually in bullet or conical shape. There are three types of suppositories which are rectal, vaginal and urethral suppositories. The rectal suppositories are widely used nowadays.
Figure 1. The figure for suppositories
1.2 Uses and application of suppositories
The common route of drug administration is through oral route in which the drugs will be swallowed into the mouth. However, there are some people who are unable to swallow the drug such as babies, elderly, post-operative patients and those who have severe nausea and vomiting. For those types of people, suppositories are the drug of choice. Suppositories are available as antipyretic and analgesic such as Paracetamol and Diclofenac. Other than that, antibiotics like ampicillin, erythromycin and metronidazole are also available in this form in order to treat the patients with the infections.
Other than systemic, suppositories can also give benefit to local action. For example, in patients with hemorrhoids, drugs in this form can be used to relieve pain, irritation and inflammation. The active ingredients in the anti-hemorrhoid contain local anesthetics, analgesics, astringents and protective agents.
1.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Suppositories
This type of dosage form has its own advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is that the drugs can avoid the first pass metabolism which is commonly occurred if taken by the oral route. First pass metabolism occurred if drugs are taken orally and being metabolized by gastrointestinal and hepatic. Then, it can also bypass acid degradation as the drugs can be absorbed directly into the circulation without entering the stomach. The patients can also avoid the bad taste and smell of the drugs and is also beneficial for people who are afraid of injection.
One of the disadvantages of the suppositories is during the defecation. If patients want to defecate as soon as the drug is inserted into the rectum, thus the process of absorption might interfere especially if the drug is irritating. Other than that, the presence of microflora in the rectum may degrade the drugs and reduce their effectiveness.