Rectogesic rectal ointment contains the active ingredient glyceryl trinitrate, which is a type of medicine called a nitrate. It is used to relieve pain associated with anal fissures.
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.
The tear may also be caused in part by spasm (tightening) of the muscle around the anus (the internal sphincter). Spasm of this muscle also causes pain, because if the muscle around the anus is tight, the blood supply to the anus is reduced. This can also slow down the healing process.
The main treatment for anal fissures involves trying to prevent constipation, because straining to pass the stool and passing large hard stools cause more problems. The tear often heals by itself in a couple of weeks, but may sometimes be ongoing. This is called a chronic anal fissure. Glyceryl trinitrate ointment is used to relieve the pain of a chronic anal fissure and also helps the tear heal.
The ointment is applied inside the anus. It works by releasing a chemical called nitric oxide, which is a chemical also made naturally by the body. Nitric oxide relaxes (dilates) blood vessels. It also relaxes the internal sphincter muscle in the anus. This improves the blood supply to the anus, which relieves the pain and helps the fissure to heal.
You should keep using the ointment for as long as your doctor has prescribed it; this will usually be until the pain has got better (up to a maximum of eight weeks).
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
You should not take any of the following while you are using Rectogesic, as the combination could produce a significant drop in blood pressure, resulting in dizziness, fainting, or even a heart attack:
As Rectogesic can cause a drop in blood pressure, this effect may be also be enhanced if Rectogesic is used by people who are taking other medicines that lower blood pressure. These combinations could cause dizziness. Other medicines that lower blood pressure include the following:
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain glyceryl trinitrate for treating anal fissure.