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Medications

Medications cannot cure hemorrhoids, but they can help relieve symptoms. You might try one or more of the following nonprescription remedies:

  • Apply ointments that protect the skin, such as zinc oxide or petroleum jelly. These are the best nonprescription remedies for hemorrhoids. Ointments can prevent further injury and reduce itching by forming a barrier over hemorrhoids.
  • Use of other products, such as Preparation H, has not been proven to be any more effective than plain petroleum jelly or zinc oxide. However, they are more expensive.
  • Use suppositories for 7 to 10 days to relieve irritation and lubricate the end portion of the large intestine (anal canal) during bowel movements. Some of these products contain substances that can harm the tissues that line the anal canal if they are used for too long.
  • Apply an ointment that contains 1% hydrocortisone. Hydrocortisone is a type of steroid medication that may relieve inflammation and itching. However, these products should not be used for more than two weeks because they can cause changes in the tissues in the anal canal.
  • Apply products that contain medication to numb an area (local anesthetic). These products often have the suffix "-caine" in the name or the ingredients. While these products help some people, especially those who have painful external hemorrhoids, some people become allergic to them. Ask your health professional before using these products.

Your health professional may prescribe 2.5% hydrocortisone to reduce inflammation. This steroid medication helps reduce inflammation and itching, but it should not be used for longer than two weeks at a time.

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