Difference Between Enema and Suppository (With Table)

Constipation is a severe problem for the majority of individuals. Thus, the perfect and right use of drugs is important. Such two popular drugs are enema and suppository. However, in most situations, a suppository and an enema serve the same function. Moreover, they serve the same purpose as well, which is to provide relief from constipation.

Enema vs Suppository

The difference between an enema and a suppository is that, in most cases, an enema is just administered into the rectum. However, on the contrary, a suppository is put into the rectum, as well as other body cavities such as the urethra and vagina. Although, both enema and suppository are powerful medication techniques to fight against severe constipation and provides relief.

An enema is a liquid that is injected into the human body to help patients ready for operation or surgery or relieve constipation. The enema is inserted as a liquid enema. When an enema is used regularly, it might harm the colon. When enemas are inserted, they are known to induce moderate symptoms. Abdominal cramps, nausea, bloody faeces, fever, vomiting, and a strong desire to empty the implanted bowels are among the symptoms.

A suppository is a type of small semi-solid or solid plug that is used to relieve constipation. It is usually made of glycerine. A suppository is a tablet, bolus, or liquid that is put into the body cavity. Suppositories can stimulate the rectum, making it harder to pass faeces and necessitating the administration of additional suppository laxatives. The majority of the time, suppositories have no side effects. However, after being inserted, they can occasionally cause moderate discomfort.

Comparison Table Between Enema and Suppository

Parameters of ComparisonEnemaSuppository
DefinitionAn enema is injected into the human body to prepare patients for an operation or provide relief from constipation.A suppository is a type of small semi-solid or solid plug usually made up of glycerine, inserted to relieve constipation.
Inserted intoRectumAnybody cavity (rectum, vagina, urethra)
Medication formLiquid only Liquid, pill, bolus
Damages caused Colon damage Rectal stimulation
Symptoms causedMild symptoms such as abdominal cramps, nausea, stools with blood, fever, vomiting.Free from symptoms, only mild discomfort after insertion.

What is Enema?

Enema is a liquid that is injected into the human body to help people prepare for operation or surgery or relieve constipation. The rectum is usually the only place where an enema is placed. The enema is administered in the form of a liquid. The use of an enema regularly can harm the colon.

When the drug is inserted, enemas are known to induce mild symptoms. Abdominal cramps, nausea, bloody faeces, fever, vomiting, and a strong need to expel the inserted bowels are only a few of the symptoms.

As laxative suppositories, glycerine is used, and the liquid in an enema lubricate difficult faeces, making them easier to pass. Enemas are more successful in clearing out the colon as a whole because these medications have a wider reach and contain more amounts of medication in every use.

What is Suppository?

A suppository is a small semi-solid or solid plug used to relieve constipation. It is usually made of glycerine. A suppository is put into the rectum as well as other body cavities such as the urethra and vaginal canal. Suppositories are normally free of side effects.

It can be a pill, a bolus, or even a liquid that is put into the bodily cavity in the case of a suppository. Suppositories can stimulate the rectum, resulting in difficulties passing faeces and the need for further suppository laxatives.

However, after being inserted, suppositories can sometimes cause slight discomfort. When used for a longer period, suppository laxatives are generally safer and have fewer side effects. Glycerin, despite being solid, melts quickly once it is placed inside the rectum, providing lubrication for faeces that are hard to pass.

Main Differences Between Enema and Suppository

  1. An enema, which is injected into the human body to prepare patients for an operation or provide relief from constipation, is found in the form of a liquid only. On the other hand, a suppository is a type of small semi-solid or solid plug usually made up of glycerine, provided to relieve constipation.
  2. An enema is usually inserted into the rectum only. On the other hand, a suppository is inserted not only into the rectum but into other body cavities as well, like the urethra and vagina.
  3. The enema, in the form of liquid, is inserted. On the other hand, in the case of a suppository, it can be a pill, a bolus or even a liquid that is inserted into the body cavity.
  4. When an enema is performed frequently, then it can cause colon damage. On the other hand, suppositories have the potential to cause stimulation in the rectum, which may lead to difficulty in stools passing and may require added suppository laxatives.
  5. Enemas are known to cause mild symptoms when the medication is inserted. The symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea, stools with blood, fever, vomiting, intense feeling to evacuate the inserted bowels. On the other hand, suppositories are usually symptoms free. However, sometimes they give the feeling of mild discomfort after being inserted.

Conclusion

In most circumstances, a suppository and an enema are used for the same function and purpose in the same way. Constipation is a big issue for the majority of people. As a result, flawless and proper drug use is critical. Enema and suppository are two prominent medications. Both the liquid in an enema and the glycerin in case of laxative suppositories lubricate tough faeces, making them easier to pass. Enemas have a wider reach.

Enemas also comprise more medication with every usage, so they are more effective at clearing out the whole colon. Suppository laxatives, on the other hand, are generally safer and have fewer negative effects when they are used for a longer time. Although solid, glycerin melts faster once placed inside the rectum, providing lubrication for difficult-to-pass faeces.

References

  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/af80e3fd77100c0fbd7401d316e02b5d/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=30130
  2. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/135/6/1093.short
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