What Is The Best Hemorrhoid Medication
With so many medications available to treat hemorrhoids, you may be wondering which option is the best. Like most prescriptions, that can only be determined by your healthcare provider on a case by case basis. The best option will depend on your medical history, the severity of your hemorrhoids, and if youre taking any other medications that may negatively interact with hemorrhoid medication.
To make things easier to understand, weve broken down some of the different prescription medications available to treat hemorrhoids:
|Best medications for hemorrhoids|
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Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
Again, the best option available for you will be determined by having an open conversation with your healthcare providers. Theyll take all the variables into account, such as your symptoms, lifestyle, medical history, and if youre taking any other medications that may interact with treatment.
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What Makes Hemorrhoid Creams Work So Well
Creams have different combinations of ingredients each ingredient is designed to relieve symptoms and to improve healing. What are these ingredients? Here are some of the types of ingredients typically included in topical hemorrhoid treatments:
- Analgesic. Intended to provide a cooling sensation, analgesics can reduce discomfort and pain by relieving painful itching sensations. Its a great way to reduce symptoms and is often included in creams.
- Anesthetic. Similar to an analgesic in the way it works, but more potent. Anesthetics numbs the area to which it is applied, and thereby provides relief for symptoms, but the relief is temporary.
- Steroidal. Inflammation goes hand in hand with hemorrhoids and reducing inflammation using a steroid is a common method of action for hemorrhoid creams. Horse Chestnut Seed Extract is another ingredient that reduces inflammation.
- Moisturizer. Dryness can cause itching and many people suffering from hemorrhoids complain about experiencing dryness. Creams include moisturizers because it goes a long way in relieve the itching and pain caused by hemorrhoids.
The ingredients in your cream will vary from product to product. Over the counter, treatments tend to have ingredients different from their prescription counterparts.
Prescription treatments may have stronger-acting ingredients that carry the risk of side-effects, which is why only doctors are allowed to prescribe certain hemorrhoid creams.
What Are The Risks Of Taking Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is relatively safe.
Side effects. Stomach upset may result from taking witch hazel by mouth. When you apply it to skin, it may, rarely, cause inflammation . But even children tend to tolerate it well on the skin.
Risks. If you use witch hazel in appropriate amounts, your risks are relatively minor. But if you take high doses by mouth, it may cause kidney or liver damage.
Although witch hazel contains a known cancer-causing ingredient, there’s likely no need for concern unless you regularly use high concentrations. The amounts are very small.
Because studies are limited, avoid using witch hazel if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Interactions. There aren’t any known interactions with drugs, foods, or other herbs and supplements.
Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way that food and drugs are. The FDA does not review these supplements for safety or efficacy before they hit the market.
Be sure to tell your doctor about any supplements you’re taking, even if they’re natural. That way, your doctor can check on any potential side effects or interactions with medications, foods, or other herbs and supplements. They can let you know if the supplement might raise your risks.
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Best Prescription Hemorrhoid Cream
On rare occasions, only a prescription treatment will do. If you see your doctor you may be prescribed a treatment which is not available over the counter.
Depending on your experience with hemorrhoids you may find that the treatments we reviewed in this article do not work for you.
For most people over the counter, treatments work just fine. But for others, a prescription treatment may provide better relief.
Treatments are generally issued as prescription-only because they come with the risk of side effects, or because frequent use can be damaging.
Prescription restrictions are there to protect patients and that is why prescription hemorrhoid treatments are not available online or over the counter.
Lets take a look at two of the prescription treatments you may be offered if your doctor believes over the counter treatments are not going to work for you.
First, Anusol HC is often prescribed and is available as both a suppository and a cream. It contains a strong ingredient called hydrocortisone acetate which represses the chemicals in your body that causes swelling and pain.
Another popular product is Proctocort. Proctocort is a cream and it also contains hydrocortisone. It is also very potent but should be used with great care and only if you have a valid prescription.
Why Do People Take Witch Hazel
Today, you can find witch hazel in your local drugstore. People often use it as an astringent, which draws tissue together and constricts blood vessels.
People apply witch hazel to the skin for a variety of problems, such as:
Applying witch hazel to the skin is the most common way it is used — and the safest.
People sometimes take witch hazel by mouth. When taken that way it is used to try to treat conditions as varied as:
There is no proof that taking witch hazel by mouth helps with these or any other conditions.
Witch hazel may bring some relief from hemorrhoids or skin irritations and lessen minor bleeding. Witch hazel extracts contain antioxidant compounds that may protect against sunburn and aging from the sun.
But the evidence is thin on its use for other conditions. Researchers have more work to do to demonstrate its effectiveness.
These are typical dosages of witch hazel:
- On the skin: 5 to 10 grams of leaf and bark simmered in 250 milliliters of water or undiluted
- As an alcohol extract : Saturate a piece of cloth and apply to the affected area.
- Rectal area. By suppository,use 0.1 to 1 gram leaf and bark applied one to three times daily. When applied to anal area, witch hazel water may be applied up to six times a day or after bowel movements.
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Are Your Hemorrhoids Internal External And/or Thrombosed
Some hemorrhoids are internal while others are external .
Also, some hemorrhoids are thrombosed, which means there is a blood clot in the hemorrhoid.
Using a hemorrhoid supplement with a hemorrhoid cream is an excellent way to get long term relief from hemorrhoids.
HemRid Plus is our hemorrhoid supplement that does wonders for hemorrhoids.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids are usually external hemorrhoids and are considered extremely painful. There are also prolapsed hemorrhoids.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids come out of the anus and are either 2nd degree 3rd degree or 4th degree.
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What Is An External Hemorrhoid
Hemorrhoids happen when rectal venous structures swell. That can happen if you strain too hard in the bathroom or otherwise place too much pressure on this part of your body.
You can get hemorrhoids inside your rectum or around your anal opening. If you have a hemorrhoid that you can see or feel on the outside of the anus, it’s an external one.
Medical experts consider the dentate line to be the internal-versus-external transition point. Also known as the pectinate line, this line of demarcation is located about one-third of the way up the anus.
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For Seriously Bad Hemorrhoids Talk To Your Doctor About Surgical Options
If youve tried home remedies and in-office procedures but your hemorrhoids are still making you miserable, it might be time to ask your doctor about surgery. Recovery from the surgical removal of hemorrhoids can be extremely painful, notes Dr. Bernstein, but its one of the most effective ways to get rid of hemorrhoids for good.
Another surgical option is having your hemorrhoids stapled into place. This is a less painful procedure compared to a hemorrhoidectomy, but it does come with a greater risk of relapse and is not recommended if you have anal sex, as staples can cause injury, notes Dr. Ky.
When to see a doctor for hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can be a massive pain, but thankfully, symptoms typically go away within a week. If you still have symptoms of hemorrhoids after a week of self-care measures or youre experiencing severe pain or bleeding, seek medical attention immediately, says Dr. Thomas.
Its important to note that sometimes what might seem like symptoms of hemorrhoids could indicate something more serious. Less commonly, rectal bleeding can also be a sign of diseases such as colorectal cancer or anal cancer. Make sure to get checked out if you notice large amounts of bleeding or other changes in your bowel habits like a different stool color or consistency.
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Deterrence And Patient Education
Conservative therapy is considered first-line treatment for symptomatic hemorrhoids. This includes increased dietary fiber, stool softeners, and increased water intake. These modifications can decrease straining and the sheering pressure associated with passing stool. This alleviates congestion and allows hemorrhoid cushions to return to their natural, non-pathologic state.
Increased fiber intake can be helpful with symptomatic hemorrhoids, but must be accompanied by adequate water intake to ensure that stool is not just bulky, but also soft. Polyethylene glycol is an osmotic laxative that softens stool by increasing the water content of stool. Docusate is an anionic surfactant that promotes water and lipid entry into the stool softening it.
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Hemorrhoidectomy Versus Fixative Procedures For Internal Hemorrhoids
- Fixative procedures are usually tried before surgery if hemorrhoids are small and stick out of the anus during a bowel movement but return to their normal position afterward .
- Hemorrhoidectomy may provide better long-term results than fixative procedures. But surgery requires a longer recovery time, is usually more painful, and has a greater risk of complications.
- Fixative procedures are the preferred treatment for people older than age 70 and for people in poor health.
You can help prevent the irritating and painful symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoid Remedies You Can Try On Your Own At Home
There are several steps you can take at home to ease the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids:
- Take a sitz bath two to three times daily for 15 to 20 minutes. Sit in warm water, covering just your hips and buttocks. This can help reduce itching and irritation. You can take a sitz bath in a few inches of water in a regular tub, but small tubs that fit over toilet seats are also available for this purpose at pharmacies. Following a sitz bath, gently pat the area dry to avoid further irritation.
- Use ice packs on the area to relieve swelling and pain.
- Don’t push too hard or strain while passing a bowel movement.
- Clean your anus after each bowel movement by gently patting with moistened pads, such as baby wipes. Using hard, dry toilet paper, which may contain fragrance, can cause further irritation.
- Keep the area clean by bathing or showering daily with warm water. After bathing, gently pat the area dry. You can even use a hair dryer to dry the area.
- Sit on cushions rather than hard surfaces to help lessen the swelling of hemorrhoids and keep new ones from forming.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin as needed.
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Best For Pain Relief: Wiseways Herbals Witch Hazel Salve
According to Dr. Nazarian, witch hazel can be very calming and anti-inflammatory, which is perfect for treating painful hemorrhoids. Its the main ingredient in this salve from WiseWays, where it works with other soothing ingredients such as yarrow, arnica, calendula, and chamomile to provide relief from itching, burning, and discomfort.
Im eight months pregnant and suffer from painful hemorrhoids, says one reviewer, who calls the salve a must-have. After weeks of pain and trying over the counter medicines, I saw the reviews for this and decided to try. And in just days, it reduced my hemorrhoids and pain.
Treatment Of External Hemorrhoids
The best treatment for hemorrhoids is reducing the likelihood of them in the first place. For example, eating a healthy, fiber-rich diet and drinking plenty of liquids. Try to avoid sitting for long periods by taking regular stretch breaks, or incorporate exercise into your routine if it isnt already a normal activity for you. Physical activity reduces pressure on the veins in the rectum and prevents constipation.
Unfortunately, once an external hemorrhoid has formed, it most likely will not go away on its own. However, there is still a wide variety of external hemorrhoid treatment options to alleviate hemorrhoid symptoms or take care of the problem altogether.
You can temporarily relieve hemorrhoid symptoms on your own by using over-the-counter topical creams as well as natural remedies, such as apple cider vinegar and witch hazel. Keep in mind that at-home treatments and positive lifestyle changes may reduce hemorrhoid flare-ups, but the symptoms likely wont completely go away without professional treatment under the supervision of an experienced physician. Seeing a physician is essential for combating the underlying causes of hemorrhoid flare-ups or treating advanced piles, such as grade IV hemorrhoids.
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Hemorrhoid Medication: When Why And Which Ones To Use
A number of OTC creams, ointments, and pads that contain hydrocortisone or witch hazel are available to help relieve pain, swelling, and itching caused by hemorrhoids. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, doctors recommend using over-the-counter products for a week. If symptoms persist beyond a week, follow up with your doctor.
Creams and suppositories containing hydrocortisone can cause the skin to weaken and thin, so they should not be used for more than a week. If any of these creams cause a rash or dry skin around the area, contact your healthcare provider.
A fiber supplement, such as Metamucil , or a stool softener, such as Citrucel , can help prevent constipation.
Avoid laxatives, which can lead to diarrhea and worsen hemorrhoid symptoms.
Best Spray: Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray
Boasting witch hazel, lavender, cucumber, and peppermint oil, a few spritzes of this spray can soothe, cleanse, and decrease inflammation in areas where hemorrhoids develop. Its nozzle is designed to work upside-down for a touch-free application, delivering instant soothing in hard-to-reach areas. For extra relief, store the bottle in the fridge for a cooling sensation when you use it.
Now I am currently 19 days postpartum, I delivered an eight-pound baby boy via the help of a forcep delivery, . I had several tears that were second-degree tears, including a brutal episiotomy and severe hemorrhoids More than two weeks postpartum I’m back on my feet and still using this spray which is in fact very cooling and very refreshing. I still have a long way to go in recovering down there, but this product has helped so far.
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What Gets Rid Of External Hemorrhoids
Sometimes, getting rid of external hemorrhoids is as simple as increasing your water intake and adding fiber to your diet.
If you experience constipation, a stool softener can help rid the occurrence of external hemorrhoids.
Other things you can do to get rid of them is limit the amount of time you sit on the toilet and refrained from holding in bowel movements.
Practice good hygiene and be sure to keep the area around your anus clean.
If you are prone to get external hemorrhoids, try using moist hemorrhoid wipes to clean your anus after you pass a bowel movement.
Using a sitz bath or sitting in a warm tub can help alleviate irritation from external hemorrhoids.
You may also use over-the-counter medications to ease discomfort and reduce swelling.
If you are prone to external hemorrhoids and they become increasingly painful or uncomfortable, or you notice continuous bleeding, you may want to talk to a doctor about more advanced treatment options.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Why do I have hemorrhoids?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can do that can relieve or prevent hemorrhoids?
- I saw blood on toilet paper. Is this serious?
- Are having hemorrhoids a sign of another health condition?
- Will I always have hemorrhoids?
- Is there medicine I can take for hemorrhoids? Are there side effects?
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When To Call Your Doctor
Its always a good idea for anyone with hemorrhoids to consult with his or her doctor. However, you should call your gastroenterologist right away if you experience a lot of blood in the stool, dark tar-colored stool, or excessive pain. While most cases of hemorrhoids are not medically concerning, some of the same symptoms can point to more serious conditions including anal fissure, anal cancer, colorectal cancer, perianal abscess, and inflammatory bowel disease. A GI doctor will help you access your symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis.If you are experiencing the symptoms of external hemorrhoids, request an appointment at GI Associates and Endoscopy Center today. As the largest gastroenterology group in Mississippi, we have three convenient locations to serve you. Our doctors can provide options and help you decide on a treatment plan.