A suppository is a drug delivery system that is inserted into the rectum (rectal suppository), vagina (vaginal suppository) or urethra (urethral suppository), where it dissolves or melts and is absorbed into the blood stream. They are used to deliver both systemically and locally acting medications.

Rectal suppositories


In 1991, Abd-El-Maeboud and his colleagues published a study on suppository insertion in The Lancet, explaining that the "torpedo" shape, when introduced to the patient blunt end first, helps the device to travel internally, increasing its efficacy. The findings of this single study have been challenged as insufficient evidence on which to base clinical practice.

Urethral suppositories

Alprostadil pellets are urethral suppositories used for the treatment of severe erectile dysfunction. They are marketed under the name Muse in the United States. Its use has diminished since the development of oral impotence medications.

See also

  • Artesunate suppositories
  • Enema
  • Pessary



  • Doyle, D., "Per Rectum: A History of Enemata", Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Vol.35, No.4, (December 2005), pp. 367â€"370.
  • Payer, L., "How Medical Practice Reflects National Culture", The Sciences, Vol.30, No.4, (Julyâ€"August 1990), pp. 38â€"42.

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