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Best Hemorrhoid Medicine Tips & Advice - Which Hemorrhoid OTC Medicine Works Best?

Posted on 25 January 2018

If you suffer from particularly bothersome hemorrhoids, chances are you have considered taking otc hemorrhoid medicine to treat the condition.

Hemorrhoid medicine is used to treat the symptoms of hemorrhoids. It can also reduce hemorrhoid pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids.

For mild discomfort, over-the-counter medicated hemorrhoid creams, suppositories, and wipes can be effective in treatment.

For more serious hemorrhoids, prescription medications may be necessary. Let’s take a closer look at what your best hemorrhoid medicine options are.

The Top Medicine for Hemorrhoids

The best medicine for hemorrhoids depends on what type of hemorrhoid treatment you need for your specific situation. There are many over-the-counter medications available to treat the symptoms and reduce the swelling of hemorrhoids. OTC hemorrhoid pain medications can help reduce the symptoms of pain and inflammation.

OTC Hemorrhoid Medicine Types:

  1. Hemorrhoid Wipes
  2. Hemorrhoid Creams & Ointments
  3. Hemorrhoid Suppositories

Suppositories are also available for a more aggressive treatment.

Luckily, for those with hemorrhoids, there are prescription versions of these medications available.

If over-the-counter medications have not been effective with treating your hemorrhoids, a hemorrhoid doctor may choose to prescribe a strong version of these.

Here are some guides for specific symptoms of hemorrhoids:

What Ingredients Make the Strongest Hemorrhoid Medicine?

Hemorrhoid medications contain ingredients such as hydrocortisone and lidocaine. They work to temporarily relieve hemorrhoid itching and burning.

While medications are effective in helping alleviate most of the irritating symptoms of hemorrhoids, they are not a permanent fix.

When prescription medications do not work, medical treatment or surgery may be necessary, especially for large hemorrhoids (1).

Does Hemorrhoids Pain Medicine Work?

The most basic pain medicine for hemorrhoids is over-the-counter pain medications. These include acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Aspirin is also effective in relieving pain, but many people cannot take aspirin. Talk to your doctor before you take any over-the-counter pain medication.

Be sure it doesn’t interact with any medication you are currently taking or any medical conditions you have. That's why it's important to speak with a hemorrhoid doctor or physician prior to taking any meds for hemorrhoids.

In some cases, prescription pain medication may be prescribed. This is common for thrombosed hemorrhoids or painful, large external hemorrhoids. When hemorrhoids do not respond to more conventional treatment, surgery might be recommended (1).

For those who undergo surgery, prescription medications may be required until the pain subsides.

Most Common Medicine for Internal Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids do not generally come with hemorrhoid symptoms besides bleeding. Because many hemorrhoid medications are used to treat symptomatic hemorrhoids, internal hemorrhoids do not usually require medication.

There are some internal hemorrhoids that require surgery. Internal hemorrhoids that are prolapsed typically require a surgery called a hemorrhoidopexy. The stapling of hemorrhoids back into place will cause the blood supply to the hemorrhoids to be cut off.

While a hemorrhoidopexy is an easier surgery than a hemorrhoidectomy, it still can be painful. Your medical provider may prescribe pain medications to help you through the pain. There are a multitude of surgical options for hemorrhoids (2).

What About Medicine for External Hemorrhoids?

Medicine for external hemorrhoids includes both oral medication and medication that is applied topically to the hemorrhoid. External hemorrhoids are often very symptomatic. The most common symptoms include pain, itching, burning, and bleeding.

Medications to treat external hemorrhoids include ointments, creams, wipes, suppositories, and oral pain medications. These are over-the-counter forms of these medications.

OTC External Hemorrhoid Medication Options:

  1. OTC painkillers (tylenol, ibuprofen)
  2. Hemorrhoid Wipes
  3. Hemorrhoid Creams & Ointments
  4. Hemorrhoid Suppositories

The best hemorrhoid wipes often contain witch hazel to reduce the inflammation and irritation associated with hemorrhoids.

Creams, ointments, and suppositories are used to treat itching, pain, and swelling. Over-the-counter pain medications are available to treat pain and inflammation.

If all over-the-counter medications do not seem to work to relieve the symptoms of external hemorrhoids, prescription medications may be given to you from your doctor.  These include stronger versions of ointments, creams, and suppositories.

Over-the-counter pain medications may be increased to prescription ones when surgery or a medical procedure is used to treat external hemorrhoids.

The Best OTC Medicine for Hemorrhoids

One of the most popular OTC medications for hemorrhoids is Preparation H. There are many variations of the medication and it is effective in treating hemorrhoid symptoms. The Prep H creams and ointments are made from phenylephrine or epinephrine.

Here is a compilation of Preparation H reviews for your benefit:

Here is a compilation of reviews of Preparation H vs. other top hemorrhoid brands.

Finally, in this post we discuss whether you should use a Preparation H Wipe, Cream, or Ointment.

These ingredients help to shrink the blood vessels in the anal area. It is most effective in treating the symptoms of itching.

Hydrocortisone based creams and suppositories work to reduce redness, swelling, and hemorrhoid itching. These products are inserted into the opening of the rectum to treat external hemorrhoids.

Medicated pads are another effective treatment for hemorrhoids. The pads are generally soaked in witch hazel. This contains flavonoids such as quercetin, essential oils, and other phytochemicals that work as natural astringents and antioxidants. This works for varicose veins or hemorrhoids.

When placed on your hemorrhoids, medicated pads provide soothing relief for irritation and inflammation of anal tissues.

Fiber is another possible treatment for hemorrhoids (3).

Top Rated Homeopathic Medicine for Hemorrhoids

There are several homeopathic treatments for hemorrhoids. Homeopathic medicine includes ausculus hippocastanum, or Horse Chestnut. This treats hemorrhoids that are sore, aching, and swollen.

Aloe is another homeopathic remedy. Aloe helps with swollen and protruding hemorrhoids.

Graphites relieve constipation that is a common cause of hemorrhoids. They can also remove the heaviness, itchiness, and burning cause by hemorrhoids.

Nux vomica helps to relieve hemorrhoids cause from a sedentary life that includes overeating and drinking.

Pulsatilla is another homeopathic medication. This helps with itchy hemorrhoids that are uncomfortable.

Finally, Sulphur can help with the itching, burning, and oozing hemorrhoids associated with hemorrhoids.

Review of Herbal Medicine for Hemorrhoids

There are many herbal remedies available to treat hemorrhoids. The choice of the herbal remedy depends on what type of hemorrhoid you have and what symptoms you are looking to treat. Hemorrhoid supplements are a great herbal solution for hemorrhoids. Be sure to take a look at this post for reviews of the best hemorrhoid supplements available.

Butcher’s broom is a popular herbal supplement used to treat hemorrhoids. Butcher’s broom works to reduce swelling and inflammation cause by hemorrhoids.

Pycnogenol is another herbal medication that works to manage acute hemorrhoidal attacks.

Horse chestnut is commonly used to help with poor blood flow and swelling. It can improve circulation and vascular tone.

Witch hazel is another herbal medicine that is popular in treating hemorrhoids. Witch hazel can be found in many medicated wipes. Its astringent and antioxidant properties help to sooth hemorrhoids and reduce the inflammation and pain cause by their presence. 

Psylliium husk is a natural source of fiber that comes in a powder form. It has been shown to reduce the occurrence of bleeding from hemorrhoids and help you avoid constipation and straining. Since constipation is one of the most common causes of hemorrhoids, this is often an extremely effective herbal treatment for hemorrhoids.

There are also some essential oils available to treat hemorrhoids. Talk to a doctor or test a patch of skin before you move forward with treatment through essential oils.

Here are a few guides on using natural ingredients for hemorrhoids:

What Medicine Shrinks Hemorrhoids The Most?

The most common type of medication used to shrink hemorrhoids are creams, ointments, or suppositories. When applied directly to the hemorrhoid, they work to reduce inflammation and ease the discomfort associated with itching, burning, and pain.

Most medicated creams, ointments, and suppositories contain a steroid to decrease inflammation and shrink the swelling.

Many healthcare providers who treat hemorrhoids choose to prescribe a steroid cream or suppository that also has an added anti-itch medication like hydrocortisone.

Steroid suppositories are particularly successful in shrinking hemorrhoids because they melt within the anal canal. The steroid is then able to coat the hemorrhoids and decrease their swelling.

Over-the-counter options like Preparation H claim to help shrink hemorrhoids. Although there is no scientific evidence to back that claim, it is suggested that the soothing nature of the ingredients found in these products reduces symptoms, thus helping to heal the hemorrhoid.

Alternative Medicine for Hemorrhoids

There are many natural methods that can help to relieve and reduce hemorrhoids. While the options suggested are high in numbers, and many do actually work, it is sometimes a matter of trial and error before you find one that will work right for you.

Everyone’s body and condition is unique. Therefore, what works for some may not have the same healing affect for you. 

Here are some examples of alternative medicine available to treat hemorrhoids:

  • Flavonoids. Plant compounds found naturally in fruits and vegetables, called flavonoids, are said to stabilize and strengthen veins and capillaries. This helps reduce inflammation and eliminate hemorrhoids. Studies also show that flavonoids can decrease pain, bleeding and swelling significantly.
  • Coconut Oil. The oil is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, making it a good choice for topical treatment of hemorrhoids. It can sooth the pain, speed healing, and help reduce swelling.
  • Witch Hazel. Known for its astringent and antioxidant properties, when applied to hemorrhoids, witch hazel is one of the oldest known natural remedies for hemorrhoids
  • Aloe Vera. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help relief the symptoms and treat hemorrhoids. Aloe vera has been known to be an effective remedy against skin irritation, burning sensations, itching, and pain. When applied to hemorrhoids, it can help shrink the swollen tissues. But because many people are allergic to aloe vera, it is important to test a spot on your skin before you use it directly on your hemorrhoids.


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