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Generic name: glycerin systemic

Brand names: Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Adult, Fleet Glycerin Suppositories Pediatric, Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppositories, Glycerin Suppositories Maximum Strength, Pedia-Lax Glycerin Suppositories, Pedia-Lax Liquid Glycerin Suppositories, Sani-Supp, Tixylix Baby Syrup, Colace Glycerin Suppositories, Allens Junior Cough, Bandi S15, Boots Cough Syrup 3 Months Plus, Glycerol, Osmoglyn, Ravin, Senokot Direct Relief

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Enema, Rectal:

Fleet Liquid Glycerin Supp: 5.4 g/dose (7.5 mL)

Suppository, Rectal:

Pedia-Lax: 1 g (12 ea); 2.8 g (4 mL) [contains edetate disodium]

Sani-Supp Adult: 2 g (10 ea [DSC], 25 ea [DSC])

Sani-Supp Pediatric: 1.2 g (10 ea [DSC], 25 ea [DSC])

Generic: 1 g (12 ea, 25 ea); 2 g (12 ea, 24 ea, 25 ea, 50 ea)


Mechanism of Action

Osmotic dehydrating agent which increases osmotic pressure; draws fluid into colon and thus stimulates evacuation



Rectal: Poorly absorbed

Onset of Action

Constipation: Suppository: 15 to 30 minutes

Use: Labeled Indications

Constipation: Relief of occasional constipation.

Mouth/throat irritation: Temporary relief of minor discomfort and protection of irritated areas in sore mouth and sore throat.

Dosage and Administration

Dosing: Adult

Constipation: Rectal: One adult suppository once daily as needed or as directed

Mouth/throat irritation: Oral: Apply a one-inch strip directly to tongue and oral cavity as needed

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

Fecal impaction, rapid disempaction: Limited data available: Rectal: Infants and Children <2 years: Suppository: 1 pediatric suppository once (Wyllie 2011)

Constipation: Rectal: Suppository:

Children 2 to 5 years: 1 pediatric suppository once daily as needed or as directed

Children ≥6 years and Adolescents: 1 adult suppository once daily as needed or as directed

Mouth/throat irritation: Oral: Oral gel: Children ≥2 years and Adolescents: Apply a 1-inch strip directly to tongue and oral cavity as needed


Oral: Apply gel to tongue and around inside and outside of tooth and gum surfaces; do not rinse out.

Rectal: Insert suppository high in the rectum and retain ~15 minutes; suppository does not need to melt to produce response


Store at room temperature; protect rectal products from heat.

Drug Interactions

Dichlorphenamide: Laxatives may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Dichlorphenamide. Monitor therapy

Adverse Reactions

Frequency not defined.

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal cramps, rectal irritation, tenesmus


Dosage forms specific issues:

  • Oral products: For use as an oral demulcent; do not swallow excessive amounts.
  • Rectal products: May cause rectal discomfort or a burning sensation.


Pregnancy Considerations

Glycerin suppositories are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy (Cullen, 2007; Wald, 2003).

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

All rectal products:

  • It is used to treat constipation.

All oral products:

  • It is used to treat dry mouth.

Frequently reported side effects of this drug

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Passing gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Burning
  • Rectal irritation

Other side effects of this drug: Talk with your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Rectal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Signs of a significant reaction like wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health. Last updated December 31, 2019.