Senvie Skin Care

10 Common Side Effects of Hemorrhoid Medication

Posted on 17 December 2018 by

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Medications come with a variety of side effects. Regardless of what condition you use medication for, patients are susceptible to a variety of adverse events and reactions. 

The severity of these side effects can range from mild to severe. Some are even life-threatening.

The good news is that the Federal Drug Administration encourages patients to report any adverse events, allowing pharmacies and drug manufacturers to deliver lists of possible drug interactions and side effects.

Where Can I Find Information About Side Effects?

FDA-approved drugs that are for sale in the United States must be safe and effective. This means that the FDA regulates prescription and over-the-counter medications to ensure that their benefits outweigh their risks.

Unfortunately, some patients do experience side effects.

Here are the factors that affect the likelihood a patient will experience a side effect when taking medication:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Allergies
  • The way in which the body absorbs the drugs
  • Other medications a patient takes and the possible interactions that may occur between the drugs
  • Dietary supplement and vitamin use

For any medication sold in the United States, either over-the-counter or by prescription, you can find information on reported side effects by:

  • Asking your health care provider about possible side effects when they recommend the drug. They can compare the list of your current medications and identify any possible drug interactions. They can also provide information based on your health status.
  • Asking your pharmacist to print a common and serious side effect sheet with all the information.
  • Reading the pharmacy labels and any information stickers attached to your prescription or the box of your over-the-counter medication.

10 Most Common Side Effects of Hemorrhoid Medications

While there are a variety of side effects that may come with hemorrhoid medications, there are several side effects that are more common. Severe side effects with these medications are rare.

The 10 most common side effects of hemorrhoid medications are:

  • Rash or skin irritation
  • Rectal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Upset stomach
  • Bleeding

If you experience any side effects of hemorrhoid medications, you should talk to your health care provider.

Whether or not they are severe, it’s important to consult your physician. If the side effects are mild, and it is determined that the benefits still outweigh the risks, your health care professional may be able to provide you ways to lessen or eliminate the effects.  

In some cases, you may be able to adjust the medication strength or switch to a different medication to ease or eliminate any adverse events you have experienced.

Your health care provider may also suggest lifestyle or dietary changes to reduce side effects. This can also help with a reduction of the symptoms of hemorrhoids, as positive changes in diet have commonly been reported to help with the prevention and treatment of hemorrhoids.

If you do experience any of these side effects, it would be helpful to report them to the FDA. The Federal Drug Administration currently has a program for reporting drug interactions and side effects called MedWatch. Their consumer friendly reporting form allows you to report any adverse events by answering a simple serious of questions about the problems you faced. They also have a toll free line you can call with questions.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the common side effects of each hemorrhoid medication. While ingredients and strengths may vary from product to product and brand to brand, most side effects are common to the type of medication you use.

Common Side Effects of Hemorrhoid Creams

  •  Shark liver oil

Hemorrhoid creams are applied directly to the skin at the opening of the anus. They are also sometimes used inside the lower part of the anus. While there are several different creams available on the market, and all contain different ingredients.

These are the most common reported side effects of hemorrhoid cream:

  • Application site reactions such as:
    • Rectal pain
    • Redness
    • Burning
    • Itching
    • Irritation
    • Dryness
    • Acne
    • Changes in menstrual periods
    • Sweating
    • Increased facial or body hair growth

Rare, but serious, side effects of hemorrhoid creams include:

  • Signs of allergic reaction including:
    • Hives
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat
  • Severe irritation, pain, or bleeding in or around the rectum
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Seizures
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain or irregular heart beat
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nervousness

Side Effects of Hemorrhoid Wipes

Many patients use hemorrhoid wipes to alleviate the symptoms of bothersome hemorrhoids. Most wipes include witch hazel used to treat the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Itching
  • Minor pain
  • Discomfort
  • Irritation
  • Burning

While there are very little reports of side effects from hemorrhoid wipes, allergic reaction is always possible. Serious signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Severe pain, bleeding, or irritation of the skin around the rectum

Common Side Effects of Hemorrhoid Suppositories

For some patients, hemorrhoid suppositories are the most effective medication for treatment. Most suppositories contain phenylephrine. The drug is used to shrink the blood vessels that cause hemorrhoids. Suppositories are commonly used to treat symptoms of:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Irritation
  • Swelling

Rectal suppositories are placed directly into the anus. Like the other hemorrhoid medications mentioned above, there are a variety of manufacturers and distributors of hemorrhoid suppositories. The over-the-counter hemorrhoid suppositories may cause the following serious side effects:

  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Head pain
  • Involuntary quivering
  • Loss of skin color
  • Nervousness
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Severe irritation inside or around the rectum
  • Increased blood pressure with symptoms of:
    • Severe headache
    • Blurred vision
    • Pounding in the neck or ears
    • Anxiety
    • Nosebleed

The most common, less serious side effect is irritation of the rectum.

Prescription Hemorrhoid Medications

If a prescription hemorrhoid medication is used to treat your condition, it may come with additional side effects. Since many prescription medications combine different drugs to combat the symptoms of hemorrhoids, the combination can create different reactions. The most common side effects of prescription hemorrhoid medication include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Mood changes
  • Sleep problems
  • High blood sugar which can be indicated by:
    • Increased thirst
    • Increased urination
    • Hunger
    • Dry mouth
    • Fruity breath
    • Weight loss
  • Weight gain or puffiness in the face
  • Muscle weakness
  • Feeling tired
  • Redness or swelling of the skin
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Numbness in the area where the medication has been applied
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling irritable
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing

It is important to be an active advocate for your health. While hemorrhoids are rarely a serious condition, they can be bothersome enough to affect your overall well being. With the majority of hemorrhoid medications, the benefits far outweigh the risks of side effects.

And, with so many options available for treatment, you can likely find a medication that will work for you. Be an active part of your health care.

The best way you can deal with side effects is to take the time to educate yourself about the possible adverse reactions you can expect when using a certain medication. This will prepare you to know the signs. You will also reduce your risk of side effects by avoiding medications that may pose a higher risk of reaction for you personally.

Additionally, when you educate yourself, you can find ways to cope with side effects, lessen them, and even eliminate them.

This list of commonly reported side effects of hemorrhoid medication should be a help for patients battling the bothersome symptoms of hemorrhoids. If you experience any of these side effects, talk to your health care provider.

And, as always, if you experience any of the more serious side effects, seek medical treatment right away.

The goal of all hemorrhoid medications is to alleviate the symptoms that leave you feeling uncomfortable. Since the benefits almost always outweigh the risks with hemorrhoid medications, you can rest knowing that there are many treatment options to help with you condition.

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