What medicines are you able to buy to treat piles?

What medicines can you buy to treat piles?

Minor piles (haemorrhoids) usually go away without treatment after a few days, but you can relieve annoying or embarrassing symptoms such as itching, discomfort and soreness with various creams, ointments and suppositories that you can buy from pharmacies.
These are some of the products you can buy without a prescription:
·         Anacal ointment (heparinoid)
·         Anodesyn ointment and suppositories (allantoin, lidocaine)
·         Anusol cream, ointment and suppositories (zinc oxide, bismuth oxide, balsam peru)
·        Anusol plus HC ointment and suppositories (zinc oxide, bismuth oxide, balsam peru, hydrocortisone)
·  Anusol soothing relief ointment and suppositories (zinc oxide, benzyl benzoate, bismuth oxide, bismuth subgallate, balsam peru, hydrocortisone)
·         Germoloids cream, ointment and suppositories (lidocaine, zinc oxide)
·         Germoloids HC spray (hydrocortisone, lidocaine)
·         Perinal spray (hydrocortisone, lidocaine)

Preparation H clear gel
Preparation H ointment
Preparation H suppositories

These are probably all equally effective, so it comes down to personal choice. Some contain hydrocortisone, a steroid that reduces inflammation, while others contain lidocaine, which is a local anaesthetic. Other ingredients tend to have astringent effects that help shrink piles, and soothing effects that help reduce itching and discomfort.
Creams and ointments can be applied around the anus to provide soothing relief. Ointments are more greasy than creams so can be helpful if the skin is particularly dry or sore. You might want to use suppositories rather than a cream or ointment if your symptoms are more internal.
You should only use these products for five to seven days at a time, as otherwise they can irritate the skin around the anus.
If your piles are particularly painful you can take paracetamol to help. It's best to avoid ibuprofen if you have a lot of bleeding from the piles because ibuprofen could make this worse. You should also avoid codeine and co-codamol because these can cause constipation that will also make the piles worse.

What can your doctor prescribe to treat piles?

For more severe piles, or if products you've bought haven't helped, your doctor can prescribe ointments or suppositories that contain a corticosteroid to reduce the inflammation, together with a local anaesthetic to relieve the pain. These products shouldn't be used excessively or for longer than a few days, as they may cause sensitisation or thinning of the anal skin.
·         Anugesic-HC (hydrocortisone, pramocaine)
·         Hemocane cream (lidocaine)
·         Proctofoam HC (hydrocortisone, pramoxine)
·         Proctosedyl ointment and suppositories (hydrocortisone, cinchocaine)
·         Scheriproct ointment and suppositories (prednisolone, cinchocaine)
·         Ultraproct ointment and suppositories (fluocortolone, cinchocaine)
·         Xyloproct ointment (hydrocortisone, lidocaine)

How is an anal fissure treated?

An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the back passage (anus). It is often caused by passing hard stools when you are constipated. The tear is painful and often bleeds when you pass a stool. Local anaesthetic or glycerol trinitrate ointment can be prescribed by your doctor to help relieve the pain of an anal fissure.

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