Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Glycerol

Glycerol

Last updated on 04/08/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Glycerol

ALTERNATIVE NAME: Glycerin

CHINESE NAME: 甘油

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Easicol, Ultralax, Softlax, Lubricare

DRUG CLASS: Laxatives

SUB CLASS: Osmotic laxatives

USED FOR: Constipation

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 43%, 50% (enema)
– 91% (suppositories)

What is Glycerol for?

Glycerol, sometimes known as glycerin, is a natural humectant (moisturizing agent) commonly found in products for the hair and skin, such as lotions, shampoos, and cosmetics products. Glycerol is also used as a laxative to treat constipation. It works by drawing water from the gut and softening stools, therefore stimulating bowel movement and relieving constipation.

How to use it?

Glycerol is available as a suppository or an enama, which are inserted into the rectum to stimulate bowel movement. Do not eat, chew or swallow it or use it in any other way. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after using suppository or enema.

For suppositories, insert one suppository as deeply into the anus as possible. The suppository should remain in the rectum for 15-20 minutes so that the medicine can be absorbed. You may feel the urge to go to the toilet in 15-60 minutes. You may split the suppository lengthwise if you only need half the dosage. Remember to remove the packaging before use.

If you use the enema, shake well before opening the protective shield. Lie down and squeeze the enema content into your rectum. Remain lying for a couple of minutes before sitting or standing. You may feel the urge to go to the toilet after 5 minutes, but it may take up to 60 minutes for the enama to work.

Adults and children over 12 years
Use 4g daily

Children 12 months – 12 years
Use 2g daily 

Infants under 12 months
Use 1g daily

What are the side effects of Glycerol?

Common side effects of Glycerol include dehydration, burning sensation or discomfort in anus or rectum.

Who should not take Glycerol?

– People allergic to Glycerol or any component of the formulation

Pharmacist Tips:

– Drink more water, increase fiber intake and exercise regularly to ensure soft bowel movement and reduce straining.
– If you find dark-colour blood in your stool, along with abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhoea, please seek medical attention immediately.
– Report to your doctor or pharmacist if constipation does not resolve after using this medicine.
– Store glycerol suppositories at a cool, dark place to avoid melting before use.

Common dosing schedule:
Use one suppository or enema when required. Repeat if necessary.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Glycerol may interact with:
– Diuretics, e.g. Furosemide, Hydrochlorothiazide
– Other laxatives, e.g. Senna, Bisacodyl

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Glycerol in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Glycerol is an over-the-counter medicine and can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Glycerol in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.