Medications Used for the Treatment of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoid medications contain vasoprotectants, anti-inflammatories, analgesics, anesthetics, astringents and antiseptics. Here we'll take a deeper look at the subject.
Medications Used for the Treatment of Hemorrhoids

Last update: 26 June, 2022

For the treatment of hemorrhoids, there are medications that are prescribed both orally (in tablet form), and rectally (in ointments or suppositories).

Hemorrhoids are caused by dilation of the hemorrhoidal veins located in the anus and lower rectum. The condition can occur inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids) or around the anus (external hemorrhoids).

The treatment of hemorrhoids is almost always non-invasive

In about 80% of cases, hemorrhoids are treated purely by medication, diet and hygiene. This means that surgery is not necessary. Surgery is reserved for occasional cases with particular pain or complications such as thrombus.

Medications are used to alleviate the symptoms of hemorrhoids and improve the quality of life. These symptoms include the following:

  • Anal pain
  • Bleeding during bowel movements
  • Burning and itching sensation in the anus
  • The presence of a lump with increased volume, hardness, hot, red, and painful (thrombosed hemorrhoids)

Available medications range from vasoprotective, healing, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, anesthetic, and analgesic types. They’re often associated with laxatives to soften the stool. They can be prescribed by a general practitioner or a specialist in the area (proctologist).

The treatment of hemorrhoids.
The pain in the worst moments of hemorrhoids is intense and makes it difficult to perform simple acts, such as sitting.

Hemorrhoids pills

The treatments for hemorrhoids by mouth usually have flavonoids or bioflavonoids in their composition. The most commonly used drugs are diosmin and hesperidin.

These compounds protect the blood vessels, as they act on the capillaries (small vessels), reducing their fragility and permeability. They favor the decrease of venous dilatation and the reduction of inflammation.

The recommended dosage is 1 tablet every 12 hours. Commercial brands include Daflon ®, Phlebodia ®, Diosmin ® and Circustat ®.

Hemorrhoid ointments

Ointments, as a treatment for hemorrhoids, can be applied to the anal region 2 to 3 times a day. For external hemorrhoids, the application will be on the superficial region of the anus, with a gentle massage. While for internal hemorrhoids, carefully insert the tip of the cannula into the anus and squeeze the packing so that the ointment can penetrate.

These drugs are sold over the counter in pharmacies. They don’t cure hemorrhoids, but do help to reduce discomfort.

They usually include ephedrine (which constricts blood vessels), benzocaine (a local anesthetic) and corticosteroids. In this way, they decrease the dilation of the hemorrhoidal veins, improve inflammation, and work as analgesics. They also have a healing or moisturizing effect.

Some commercial examples are Hemoal ®, Ultraproct ® and Doxiproct plus ®.

As an ointment for hemorrhoids, it’s also usual for them to contain menthol for their rubefacient function, as it produces redness and subsequent cold sensation that relieves pain. It’s similar to the preparation of homemade ointments based on Hamamelis.

On the other hand, cod liver oil, balsam of Peru and substances containing vitamins A and D are recommended as natural healing agents.

Suppositories for hemorrhoids

This hemorrhoid treatment usually contains steroids (anti-inflammatory) and local anesthetics (such as cinchocaine). In addition, they usually have antiseptic and astringent action.

Thus, in addition to reducing the signs of inflammation and relieving pain, they help stimulate skin regeneration and healing. The most commonly used is Ultraproct ®.

Other treatments for hemorrhoids

Other common anti-inflammatory analgesics are usually indicated for the therapeutic approach to the problem, such as diclofenac, paracetamol or ketoprofen. Likewise, the use of laxatives to improve constipation is often associated.

The prescription of antiseptics to prevent infections, such as chlorhexidine or hexetidine, is also common. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed when there’s suspicion of an associated infectious process.

Surgery to remove hemorrhoids is necessary if there’s no long-term improvement. The same happens with thrombosed external hemorrhoids, which will require the release of the thrombus through a simple incision.

A woman with hemorrhoids.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids produce a painful and swollen lump in the anal region.

The best treatment for hemorrhoids is prevention

Hemorrhoids are related to constant straining during defecation and constipation. However, they’re also associated with other processes that increase intra-abdominal pressure (such as vomiting, portal hypertension, cirrhosis or pregnancy).

When you take care of your diet and follow certain recommendations, hemorrhoids disappear on their own. So, a visit to the doctor is only necessary if symptoms persist or worsen.

Treatment is essentially hygienic and dietary. Excessive effort during defecation should be avoided; you should only go to the toilet when you feel a natural urge.

A diet rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, cereals, and legumes favors intestinal peristalsis and water absorption. Sitz baths with warm water are also recommended. In people with risk factors or family history, dietary changes are important.

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