are medicated, solid bodies of various sizes and shapes suitable for introduction
into body cavities. The medicament is incorporated into a base such as cocoa
butter which melts at body temperature, or into one such as glycerinated gelatin
or PEG which slowly dissolves in the mucous secretions. Suppositories are suited
particularly for producing local action, but may also be used to produce a systemic
effect or to exert a mechanical effect to facilitate emptying the lower bowel.
The ideal suppository base should be nontoxic, nonirritating,
inert, compatible with medicaments, and easily formed by compression
or molding. It should also dissolve or disintegrate in the presence
of mucous secretions or melt at body temperature to allow for
the release of the medication. As with the ointment bases, suppository
base composition plays an important role in both the rate and
extent of release of medications.