The Pharmaceutics and Compounding Laboratory
Preparation of Suppositories


Suppository ShapesSuppositories 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.