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How to give your child suppositories

This page provides information on how to give your child suppositories and how to look after the medicine.

Instructions on giving your child a suppository

Remember – suppositories should never be swallowed.

  • Sit your child on the toilet to see if they need a poo.

  • Wash your hands.

  • Warm the suppository in your hands for a minute.

  • Remove the foil or plastic wrapping.

  • Get your child into any of these positions to give the suppository:
    • squatting down
    • lying on one side with one leg straight and the other bent
    • standing up with one leg raised
  • Gently but firmly push the suppository into your child’s bottom as instructed.

  • Push it in far enough that it does not slip out again.

  • Ask your child to close their legs and hold your child’s buttocks together for a few minutes.

  • Wash your hands again.

If your child needs a second suppository, wait until the first has dissolved before inserting the second.

Looking after your child’s suppositories

  • Always check the expiry date of the medicine before giving it to your child.

  • Keep the suppositories in a cool, dark place according to the label.
  • Read the instructions on the label and only use the suppositories as directed.
  • Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.

If you have any questions about your child’s suppositories, please ask your family doctor (GP) or local community pharmacist.

More information

Call the Great Ormond Street Hospital switchboard on 020 7405 9200, or the Pharmacy medicines information line on 020 7829 8608.  

Ref: 2012F1010 January 2013

Compiled by the Pharmacy department in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group 

Please read this information in conjunction with any patient information leaflet provided by the manufacturer. However, please note that this information explains about the use of medicines in children and young people so may differ from the manufacturer’s information.

Each person reacts differently to medicines so your child will not necessarily suffer every side effect mentioned. This information does not constitute health or medical advice and will not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor. No liability can be taken as a result of using this information.