How to give your child suppositories

This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital describes how to give your child medicine in suppository form (into the bottom). If you have any questions about your child’s suppositories, please ask your family doctor (GP) or local community pharmacist.

What to do

Remember – suppositories should only be inserted into the bottom

  1. Sit your child on the toilet to see if they need a poo. 
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Before unwrapping the suppository, warm it in your hands for a minute. 
  4. Remove the foil or plastic wrapping. 
  5. Get your child into any of these positions to give the suppository:
  • Squatting down
  • Laying on one side with the lower leg straight and the upper one bent
  • Standing up with one leg raised
  1. Holding the suppository with the rounded end upwards, gently but firmly push it into your child’s bottom as instructed. 
  2. Push it in far enough that it does not slip out again.
  3. Ask your child to close their legs and clench their buttocks together for a few minutes – you might need to hold them together. 
  4. Wash your hands again. 
Note: If your child needs a second suppository, wait until the first has dissolved before inserting the second one.

Storing the suppositories safely

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children. 
  • Keep the suppositories in their original packaging in a cool, dark place according to the instructions on the label. 
  • Read the instructions on the label and only use the suppositories as instructed. 
  • Always check the expiry date of the medicine before you give it to your child.
Compiled by:
the Pharmacy department in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group
Last review date:
April 2020